We all think that brushing our teeth is not a difficult task, but it turns out that it is and we’ve been brushing our teeth wrong. And putting our oral hygiene at risk by making tooth brushing mistakes is a lot easier.
You’re not brushing your teeth for long enough
It is recommended by the American Dental Association that we brush our teeth for two minutes, but many people do it shorter than 2 minutes. It is said by a professor of restorative dentistry, called Ed Hewlett that different studies have timed people brushing their teeth and they were asked for how long did they brushed their teeth, and they answered for a couple of minutes, but maybe even less than half a minute. You can use an electric toothbrush that beeps when you have reached two minutes, or you can use a timer on your phone.
Here are ten secrets to keep your teeth white and healthy!
You’re brushing too hard;
If you brush your teeth too hard, you’re not doing any good. Dr. Hewlett said that when you press hard against your teeth and gums, you get a satisfying sensation that you’re really getting the teeth clean, but it is not like that. The reason why you brush your teeth is to remove a plaque – a bacterial film – which can be sticky, but soft. Dr. Hewlett also said that by pushing too hard you can overstress your gum tissue and that can expose a part of your tooth’s root which is more susceptible to cavities than the hard enamel part of the tooth.
Your angle is off;
If you want to brush your teeth like you should, then you need to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle – upward for your top teeth and downward for your bottom teeth. In that way, the bristles can sweep and clean under the gum line. You need to gently brush your teeth in small circles. An exception to this is if you have an electric sonic toothbrush which is designed to go straight on the tooth.
Your toothbrush bristles are too firm;
If you want to find “firm” and “medium” bristles, that can be a little harder. Some bristles can be way too harsh for your teeth and gums, and most dentists do not recommend them, they instead recommend choosing soft or ultra-soft bristles that can gently get down under the gum line.
Your toothbrush head is too big;
You need to have a toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. But if you have a large mouth, a compact brush head is better at helping you access those hard-to-reach and hard-to-see molars.
You’ve had the same toothbrush since last year;
When you angle your brush to 45 degrees, if your bristles are splayed out, bent, and curved, they do not point in the right direction. That means it is time for you to treat yourself to a new toothbrush. Dr. Hewlett says that it is best if you do this every three months.
You don’t consider flossing mandatory;
A survey showed that only 41 percent of Americans floss their teeth at least once a day, while 20 percent never break out the dental floss. But Dr. Hewlett says that brushing is not enough because toothbrushes reach only a little between the teeth, but do not remove all of the plaque, and here is where flossing come in handy. If you are not a fan of flossing, you can try an interdental cleaner, such as an electric flosser, a bristled dental pick or wooden dental sticks.
You think it’s no big deal to skip brushing your teeth before bed now and then;
But it can be a big deal and it is! If you brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once per day, 98 percent of all dental disease can be avoided along with having regular check-ups with your dentist.