You might assume that there are few things simpler than brushing your teeth, but what if your dentist told you that you’d be doing it wrong all this time? Brushing is the most effective means of reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, so it’s vital to get it right. Here are some tips from the experts to keep your pearly whites in pristine condition.
When you brush your teeth, what exactly do you do? Brushing cleans the mouth, but you have to do it properly to reap the rewards. If you’re not putting enough effort in, you’re only covering some of the teeth, or you’re putting your brush back in the pot after 30 seconds, you might be putting your oral health at risk. Set a timer and aim to brush for at least 2 minutes every morning and evening. Cover each individual tooth, and angle the head of your brush so that you can clean every surface and remove food debris from the gum line. Electric toothbrushes are more powerful than manual brushes, and they are proven to target plaque more effectively.
It’s understandable to assume that the harder you brush, the deeper the clean, but this is not the case. If you brush too firmly, you can damage the enamel and end up increasing the risk of decay and sensitivity. Be gentle when you brush, and if you’re using an electric brush, let the brush do all the work. You don’t need to scrub your teeth, just hold the brush in position and move it from one tooth to the next.
Many people rinse after brushing, and it seems to be a staple part of an oral hygiene routine most of us have picked up from childhood. The truth is that rinsing is not only unnecessary, but it could also harm your teeth. This is because when you rinse your mouth, you remove fluoride from the tooth enamel. Fluoride is added to toothpaste, and it helps to protect your teeth by strengthening your enamel. Instead of rinsing, just brush your teeth, spit, and then get on with the rest of your day.
Another handy brushing tip is to wait around an hour to clean your teeth after eating. This gives the enamel a chance to remineralise and prevents acid erosion.