Most of us grow up with an oral hygiene routine in place, but sometimes, habits of a lifetime don’t always reflect what’s actually good for us. Unwittingly, many of us make dental mistakes without being aware of the potential consequences.
One of the most common errors people commit when they brush their teeth is rinsing after brushing. Many of us learn to do this as children, and it becomes a habit we don’t even think about. Rinsing is actually counter-productive because it washes away the fluoride that is added to toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that protects the enamel and reduces the risk of decay and cavities. Rather than washing the teeth and rinsing after brushing, eliminate this step. This will increase exposure to fluoride.
Another problem is brushing technique. It’s understandable to assume that brushing firmly improves results, but being aggressive with your brush can actually do more harm than good. This is due to the fact that you can damage the protective enamel surface if you’re heavy-handed. If you have an electric toothbrush, you don’t need to exert any extra effort or force. The brush will do all the hard work for you, so gently guide it around the mouth, covering every surface of every tooth.
To improve standards of oral health, dentists are also eager to encourage patients to buy the right toothpaste. In recent years, abrasive products, which are sold as whitening toothpastes, have become increasingly popular. The trouble with these products is that they can weaken the enamel and there is little evidence to prove that they lighten the shade of the teeth. For the best whitening results, dentists recommend professional whitening treatment, which can be legally only be provided by trained, qualified, GDC-registered dentists.