Brushing our teeth is a daily routine that has been ingrained in us ever since our youth, with our parents constantly reminding us of its importance.
While the activity seems straightforward, since it only requires brushing along several times over all of one’s teeth, there is more to it than many would think.
Proper brushing is essential to reap its full benefits, and here are five of the common mistakes you may have been making.
1. Choosing the wrong brush
Choosing a suitable brush is difficult, given the wide selection of them available for purchase at your local supermarket. However, there are only a few things to keep in mind to get the right one.
- Pick a brush with soft-to-medium bristles since they are the most flexible and can thus bend easily and get under the gums and other hard to reach areas between teeth. Moreover, they are gentler on your tooth structure than stiff bristles, which can wear them down over time. Good bristles are resilient; they retain their shape and do not deform easily.
- Get the brush head that best fits your mouth because going for something too big may limit the angles at which you can brush your teeth, further reducing its effectiveness.
- The toothbrush handle should be stiff so that you get an accurate feel of the forces you are delivering to the teeth. If the handle is too flexible, the tactile feedback that you get while brushing is diminished.
2. Brushing too vigorously
Harder does not equate to better when it comes to brushing your teeth. Scrubbing too hard does not mean that your brushing is more effective or better at removing plaque and bacteria; the bristles must be applied at the right spot in order to be effective. Some amount of pressure on the bristles is needed to remove adherent bacterial plaque. Once an area has been cleaned, move on to clean other areas.
Usually, freshly deposited plaque is rather loose and soft. Think of brushing as ‘massaging’ your teeth gently instead of ‘scrubbing’ them vigorously; press on the toothbrush at the right angle, directing it at the right place.
Rushing is probably the most common mistake people make when brushing their teeth. Careful brushing for at least three full minutes ensures that you thoroughly remove any food particles, bacteria and plaque build-up in your mouth and teeth since your last brushing.
Even if you’re late for work or school in the morning or itching to get to bed after a long day, take at least three minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly.
4. Forgetting the gum line
Bacteria are commonly found in the area where your teeth meet your gums. It’s this area that many people tend to neglect when brushing. When brushing these areas, do so at an angle, typically 45 degrees, along with an up and down brushing motion.
Having a soft-bristled brush helps get under this gum line and effectively remove the bacteria hiding inside them. Lastly, don’t forget to include the tongue-side of your teeth since this area rarely gets any brushing action.
5. Neglecting a thorough dental routine
Brushing twice a day is what many orthodontists typically recommend. However, at least one of those times must include more than just brushing.
A complete dental routine would at least consist of these: brushing, flossing, and for some individuals, gargling with mouthwash. Doing so every 24 hours helps suppress the bacteria in your mouth, making them less productive and thus less hazardous.
Proper brushing is the only way for your teeth to fully benefit. Doing so ensures that your oral health is in its best condition and that there are no untouched areas where plaque and bacteria could proliferate and cause dental issues.
However, to ensure that there are no hard-to-reach areas between your teeth, you must get them straightened out first.
Get the perfectly straight teeth necessary for your healthy oral health, a dazzling smile, and future savings by making your teeth aligned with braces!
Whether it’s with traditional metal, ceramic braces, or the newer Invisalign braces in Singapore, the best treatment for your needs is guaranteed to make an improvement, helping you get the results you expect. Book an appointment with your orthodontist and begin your braces journey today.