Brushing our teeth is something we do every day. But you may be surprised to know that not many people know how to brush their teeth correctly. Here’s a list of the different ways you should NOT brush your teeth.
1. Picking the wrong brush.
You can find hundreds of brushes in supermarkets and convenience stores that it can get overwhelming to choose. But here are some pointers when shopping for a toothbrush:
First, it should have soft bristles so the brush can get right under the gum line and reach all the places that need to be covered. Next, look for the approval seal from the American Dental Association so that you’ll know the product was checked by the ADA.
2. Not replacing your toothbrush for over 3 months.
The average lifespan of any toothbrush is 90 days or 3 months. After this period, the bristles become frayed or broken, so they won’t be able to properly clean your mouth. Moreover, food particles and bacteria will also accumulate in the brush.
3. Rinsing your mouth with water immediately after you brush your teeth.
I’m pretty sure this one caught you by surprise. Yes, when you rinse your mouth with water after you spit out the toothpaste, it cuts down the efficiency of your toothpaste. What you should use instead of water is a mouth rinse that contains fluoride.
4. Brushing your teeth hard.
A common misconception is that brushing hard is better in removing plaque and food particles in the mouth, but this isn’t true. You don’t have to scrub your teeth to remove plaque because it’s loose and soft.
5. Brushing your teeth fast.
You should spend two minutes to brush your teeth, at least twice each day. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t be in a rush to finish this essential routine. I recommend using a timer or listening to an entire song when you brush.
6. Not following a method for brushing.
Most people just go back and forth when brushing their teeth. But this is not the proper way to do it. You need to have “steps” when you brush. In a small circular motion, begin at the gum and go up then go down.
7. Not brushing the gum line.
It’s not only the teeth that need cleaning. You need to work on the gum line too because that’s where the bacteria often accumulate. Basically, you should brush your whole tooth.
8. Brushing too soon.
Many people make it a habit of brushing their teeth immediately after eating. While this is better than not brushing at all, we don’t encourage our patients to do this. That’s because there’s acid sitting inside the mouth after you eat so by brushing your teeth, you’re using abrasives which can erode the teeth. Experts recommend waiting about 20 minutes so that the saliva gets rid of the acid in the mouth before you brush.
9. Not going all the way.
By this, I’m talking about flossing, brushing and rinsing. You don’t have to floss every time you brush your teeth, but you should at least do it once a day.