Brushing your teeth is a crucial part of your oral health routine. It is recommended you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, alongside flossing and regular dental appointments. This helps prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque which can be harmful to your teeth and gums.
However, there are some mistakes you might be making when brushing your teeth. As it does not take long for bacteria and plaque to accumulate, these mistakes may put you at increased risk from oral health issues.
It does not take much force to remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth. If you brush your teeth too hard you could be damaging your teeth instead of protecting them.
Aggressive brushing, particularly when using a stiff-bristled toothbrush, can wear away the tooth enamel and further expose your teeth to bacteria.
It is recommended you use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush your teeth. It is more important to ensure you have brushed your teeth efficiently than brush with any force.
You should be angling your toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gumline while using short brushing strokes – to ensure that you don’t miss areas around a tooth.
Remember to Brush the Whole Tooth
Another common mistake is not brushing the back of the teeth. Many people hold and angle their brush to address just the front and top of the tooth — as well as in between the teeth.
To reach the back of your teeth you need to hold your toothbrush vertically as opposed to horizontally, while still using short strokes. This technique helps ensure bacteria and plaque do not build up on the back of your teeth.
Don’t Brush Straight After You Eat
If you brush your teeth straight after eating, you increase the risk of removing the protective tooth enamel. This is particularly so if you have eaten acidic foods, sugars and citrus fruits.
Ideally, you want to wait for an hour until after you have eaten before brushing your teeth, or at least 30 minutes.
When you remove tooth enamel, you are at increased risk of teeth sensitivity and cavities, but if you still want to freshen your breath after eating you could use sugarless gun or drink water instead.
Consult with your dentist on the best ways to brush your teeth for good oral health and a healthy smile.