21 Feb

Are you getting tooth care all wrong?

shutterstock_564882475Even if you clean your teeth twice a day, every day, there’s a chance that you’re not doing it right. There’s an art to brushing, and certain habits can prevent you from achieving the clean you want. To improve dental health and optimise results, dental experts have shared some common myths and helpful tips.

Brushing after eating

You may assume that the sooner you brush your teeth after eating, the better, but cleaning your teeth immediately after eating can actually do more harm than good. When you eat, your enamel softens temporarily and brushing at this point can cause it to become worn and thin. Consultant in dental public health, Derek Richards, urges patients to wait at least 10 minutes to brush after eating or drinking.

Rinsing after brushing

Many people rinse as part of their brushing routine. It comes naturally to clean your teeth, rinse and then spit. There’s nothing wrong with this pattern, but you could benefit more from skipping the rinsing step. When you rinse, this can wash away the fluoride, which is added to toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel.

Tooth whitening

You may think that white teeth are healthy teeth, but don’t be tempted to treat yourself to a whitening treatment that is provided by somebody without dental qualifications. Whitening is widely available at beauty salons, but this is actually illegal. Always make sure you see a registered dentist if you want whiter, brighter teeth.

Brushing takes time

Professor Damien Walmsley recently got involved in a discussion about whether you wet your brush head before cleaning or not. Some people on twitter were passionate about dampening the bristles beforehand, but Prof Walmsley, an adviser for the British Dental Association, said that all that matters is that people brush for two minutes twice a day (once before bed) using fluoride toothpaste. It doesn’t matter whether the brush is wet or dry, sticking to the basics is much more important.
Next time you go to brush your teeth, think about your daily habits and see if they need a little modification.