14 Jun

Could your brushing technique be ruining your teeth?

shutterstock_567964555Learning to include twice-daily brushing in your habitual routine is part and parcel of growing up. Most of us know that we’re supposed to brush twice a day, but do you know how to brush your teeth properly. You may think that you’re doing a great job just because you take two minutes to clean your teeth, but you may be surprised when you read tips from experts. As part of National Smile Month, dentists have been offering pearls of wisdom to help the public improve their brushing technique. Here are some of the most helpful and effective hacks:
Brushing twice a day may seem like an obvious tip, but studies show that up to half of the population only brushes once a day. Brushing twice a day enables you to remove bacteria and food debris before it turns into plaque, the sticky film-like substance, which is responsible for causing gum disease and dental decay. A lack of time is an excuse used by many when it comes to avoiding brushing, but if you are in a rush, dentists recommend brushing your teeth before you eat, rather than immediately afterwards. When you eat, the enamel softens temporarily, and brushing at this time can damage the external tooth surface.
We’re often taught to rinse after brushing, but this can actually prevent you from getting the most out of tooth cleaning. Washing the mouth out removes fluoride and any other beneficial additives you get from your toothpaste, such as Novamin, so try and avoid rinsing and wait a while to drink after brushing.
Putting a lot of enthusiasm and energy into brushing may seem like a good idea, but if you brush too firmly, you can actually do more harm than good. Brushing aggressively can weaken the enamel and increase the risk of erosion. Be thorough when you brush, but take care to be gentle.