It’s not exactly breaking news that preventing cavities and bad breath are two of the most crucial reasons to brush your teeth. But what if your oral hygiene routine actually makes you more prone to gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay? Scary.
It turns out that there are a variety of typical errors that many of us commit every day that can harm our teeth and ruin a perfectly good smile. Learn what you’re doing incorrectly so you can improve your teeth by kicking these harmful habits.
Too little time is spent brushing.
The majority of people don’t brush their teeth for nearly long enough. Few people really brush for the recommended two to three minutes, despite the majority of dentists’ recommendations. Check your watch the following time to see how long your routine lasts. You’re probably only brushing for a minute or so, whether you’re hurrying to get to work or getting ready to collapse into bed. Use an electric toothbrush with a two-minute timer or carry an egg timer into the bathroom and put it there before you begin if you want to go the distance.
Your actions are not being observed.
When brushing your teeth, be sure to check in the mirror to see where the brush is truly going. The most crucial portion, which is located directly at the gum line, is simple to overlook. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria can accumulate there, leading to gingivitis, an infection and inflammation of the gums. Pay particular attention to the back molars as well. You might entirely miss them if the brush head strikes your cheek before you get there. Bonus: By paying closer attention to your teeth, you’ll be more likely to spot any problems like chips, cracks, or regions where your upper and lower teeth may be rubbing
You must drastically improve your technique.
Enamel is composed of closely spaced, glass-like rods that project outward toward the tooth’s surface. These fragile rods might shatter when you brush side to side, causing fissures and weakening teeth. Lenchner compares it to felling a tree. Keep in mind that teeth are not trees. Brush in small circular motions while holding the brush with the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the teeth’s surface. Concentrate on a few teeth at a time, then move on to the following set, going around from top to bottom, front to back. It’s acceptable to brush the chewing surfaces in straight lines. After finishing your circular motion, brush away from the gum line to remove bacteria and dislodged plaque.
Brushing too vigorously is bad.
When you brush too vigorously, there is a higher risk of breaking the enamel. The stakes increase if you tend to grind or clench your teeth. These practices, together with forceful sideways brushing, can lead to abfraction lesions, which are notches along the gum line. They can penetrate the inner cementum and dentin layers of the tooth with persistent pressure. Furthermore, rough brushing can traumatise delicate gums, resulting in inflammation and recession.
Your brush selection is incorrect.
you reduce damage, make sure you get soft or ultra soft brushes. Lenchner cautions, however, that if used improperly, even toothbrushes with soft bristles can result in abrasions. “Electric toothbrushes are great tools if they help you brush longer and get to the right places,” he claims.
Your toothbrush can be a veritable refuge for bacteria, including staph and strep, as awful as that may sound. Regular toothbrushes should be changed every three months, or sooner if the bristles appear worn, frayed, or bent. As the bristles deteriorate over time, much like split ends in your hair, bacteria nest in those microscopic tears. After each usage, rinse your brush with hot water and let it air dry fully to reduce the daily growth of germs.
Your toothpaste isn’t the right kind.
Because they are abrasive, baking soda toothpastes are effective at removing stains, but they are also damaging to enamel. The trade-off may not be worthwhile. Prosthodontist Michael Lenchner claims that, to his knowledge, tooth whitening toothpastes don’t harm teeth.
You’re not flossing correctly.
Flossing reaches areas between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t. The surfaces where two teeth meet are where cavities most frequently develop. There, bacteria become entrapped, feed on the sugars left over from food particles, colonise, and release compounds that erode away at enamel and can penetrate the dentin’s soft layer underneath. This may ultimately result in tooth decay. In other words, as disgusting as it may be, flossing is a necessity and the best defence against these colonies that cause cavities.
Start by wrapping a full foot of floss around each hand’s middle finger. To carefully push the floss between two teeth, use your thumb and forefinger. Take care not to tug the floss harshly or see it back and forth, as these actions can damage the gums. Plaque can be removed and loosen by wrapping the floss around one tooth and wiping up and down. Next, repeat the process on the subsequent tooth.
According to Lenchner, you don’t have to floss while standing at the sink after you’ve mastered the proper technique. To make flossing feel less like a chore, you might try doing it while watching TV.
There is no post-rinse.
Plaque that is full of bacteria is released from the surface of teeth by brushing and flossing effectively. A crucial step to ensure that bacteria are permanently removed from your mouth is rinsing afterward. To strengthen and fortify tooth enamel and prevent cavities, use a fluoride rinse or swish with a germ-killing, alcohol-free mouthwash. A thorough rinse and spit with water is preferable to nothing if you don’t have mouthwash.