Chances are you’re brushing your teeth at least twice daily, but is it enough to keep your dental hygiene in good condition? Because if not, the bad news is that you could be risking your oral health with all of these common mistakes. Here are some tips on maintaining dental hygiene from Dr. Andrew Harrold of the Bondi Junction dental service.
1. Brushing too hard
Do you feel like you need to scrub away any plaque when brushing? This is probably because kids were told to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day. But this habit makes some people use more force than they need to.
Oral health experts recommend that people use just enough pressure so that the bristles on the toothbrush touch their teeth and gums without having to bounce off. If you’re scrubbing away plaque, you’re missing the point.
2. Using your old toothbrush
It would be best if you replaced your toothbrush every three months. The bristles wear out over time and don’t clean teeth as well. Some people even think they can use their toothbrush until it’s falling apart or getting too ratty, but this is gross – remember, bacteria build up on the brush if you don’t rinse it enough after brushing! Discard your toothbrush and get a new one often to avoid transferring bacteria from your mouth onto the brush, which will only lead to more dental issues!
3. Chewing ice
You may severely damage your teeth’ enamel by chowing down on ice cubes. It’s time to kick this habit – if you’re thirsty, drink water instead!
4. Not brushing long enough
Do you think rinsing with mouthwash is an adequate “replacement” for brushing? If so, think again – according to the ADA (American Dental Association), one must brush twice daily for two minutes. Brushing without toothpaste or improper technique will not remove plaque and promote healthy gums as brushing does, so don’t fall into this trap!
5. Using too much toothpaste
When brushing, it’s easy to go overboard on the toothpaste but remember that a pea-sized amount is all you need. Not only will it help your teeth look cleaner and whiter, but it’s also more economical in the long run!
6. Brushing your tongue
We’ve all been told by our parents at some point to brush our tongues when we brush our teeth. But there isn’t any benefit in using toothpaste to clean this part of your mouth if you rinse it away right after, especially because putting too much paste on your tongue can cause burning sensations. Some people recommend brushing with a dry toothbrush, while others have said that scraping the surface with a tongue scraper is best.
7. Using the wrong kind of toothpaste
If you’ve been using an old tube of toothpaste for years, it could be time for a switch – because pastes come in different formulations depending on your needs. Pastes that say they’re “antigingivitic” or “antibacterial” are commonly recommended by dentists if you suffer from gingivitis or certain gum diseases. If not, then regular fluoride toothpaste that removes plaque and prevents tartar build-up can work just fine!
8. Forgetting to rinse after brushing
But many people don’t know why this is super important; because when you forget to do it, small amounts of toothpaste (and fluoride) will sit on your teeth and irritate them, causing painful sensitivity. You can avoid this by rinsing after brushing – but don’t just gurgle some water in your mouth before spitting it out because that won’t wash away any leftover toothpaste from your brush!
9. Brushing too soon
Suppose you brush immediately after eating or drinking something sugary. In that case, you might be doing more damage than good to your teeth – especially if you’ve consumed acidic foods (like orange juice) beforehand. While the enamel is softened from exposure to acid, it’s very vulnerable to abrasive substances like toothpaste… So scrubbing right afterward will make it even easier for the bristles on your brush to scratch off some of your enamel!
10. Not using the proper technique
If you’re not correctly brushing your teeth, no toothpaste in the world can save your teeth. People either scrub too hard or clean unevenly across their mouth – but both scenarios can cause severe damage over time! So make sure to use light pressure and brush evenly (don’t forget about those back molars!) if you want to keep your smile sparkling clean for years.
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