For the majority of us, brushing our teeth is a habit taught to us from a young age which we perform almost subconsciously. However, as with any habit, it is easy to become complacent in our routine. This potential slacking on brushing teeth properly can cause numerous oral and dental health problems if ignored, such as cavities and gum disease.
The most common teeth brushing mistakes people make are easy to avoid, if you know what they are, so watch out for these!
Not brushing long enough
We are taught when young to brush our teeth softly for two minutes twice a day. However, leaving too long a period of time between brushings can lead to bacterial plaque building up, which increases the risk of gum disease and other issues.
Most people fall short in both areas. The two minute guideline is an arbitrary number, but it ensures that people take enough time to properly clean all areas of their teeth. A good way of keeping track of brushing your teeth, and ensuring that each area has been cleaned thoroughly, is to divide the mouth into quarters and spend at least thirty seconds on each section.
Not using the correct toothbrush
Using the wrong toothbrush is a common error. When choosing a toothbrush, it’s important to consider the size of your mouth – if you have to strain to open your mouth wide enough for the brush to fit in, then the toothbrush is most likely too big.
The more comfortable and natural the brush feels in both your mouth and your hand, the more likely it is that you’ll use it properly. Experts say that a person who brushes well with a properly fitting manual toothbrush will have just as good oral health as people who brush with an electric toothbrush.
Brushing too often or too hard
While brushing your teeth three times a day is ideal, brushing more than that could harm your teeth.
Excessive brushing may expose the tooth’s root to irritation, which can result in irritation of the gums. Too much vigorous brushing may also erode tooth enamel, which is the tooth’s protective outer layer. A tip to ensure good brushing is to brush very gently for two to three minutes.
Although it can sometimes feel like a chore, brushing our teeth is essential in maintaining our oral health, and taking less than five minutes a day is a small price to pay for healthy teeth and gums!
One mistake you shouldn’t make is neglecting to see your dentist regularly to keep your teeth in good condition – book an appointment with us today on 0121 354 1922.