Brushing is a vital part of any morning routine. For many, it’s as automated as breathing. The downside is: you’re not paying attention to several harmful habits. Similar to other self-care practices, brushing has do’s and don’ts.
An accumulation of these mistakes can trigger dental health complications. Harmful brushing habits are common; many people don’t recognize its dangers.
You may have adopted these habits from an early age without knowing it. It’s not late to make a few healthy changes today!
Proper dental care is among the best ways to protect your body.
Poor oral hygiene goes beyond damaging your smile. Eating and drinking trigger plaque formation on your teeth. Without proper dental habits, the plaque becomes tartar. This causes long-term issues such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Remember, self-care doesn’t replace professional dental treatments, they complement each other. Even if it’s stressful, don’t skip scheduled dentist visits. It’s advisable to get professional dental checks twice each year.
Let’s explore the mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth by NSOMS, a leading oral surgery centre.
Tooth Brushing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Using the Wrong Brush.
Choosing from the supermarket’s dazzling range of toothbrushes can be tough. You must consider several features to make the right choice.
Make sure your brush can reach the areas that need cleaning. It could be a manual or electric toothbrush.
The size of the toothbrush must be relative to your mouth size. Note handle sizes and curvature for better grip and flexibility.
The crucial part is the brush’s bristles. The bristles do the vital job of removing bacteria and plaque from your mouth. Your choice of toothbrush must cover the far reaches of your mouth.
Brushes with soft bristles are more effective than the harder alternatives. Those with hard bristles can damage your teeth with continuous use.
2. Overusing Your Toothbrush
You should change your toothbrush every three months. Constant use will wear out the brush’s bristles. In addition, food particles and bacteria accumulate on your toothbrush after a while. It reduces the brush’s efficiency and affects your oral hygiene.
This is because worn-out bristles cannot clean your mouth well enough. Replace your toothbrush when you notice the bristles have lost their flexibility.
While it’s good to brush daily, over-brushing can damage your teeth. Excess brushing each day can lead to gum line recession. In addition, it can cause dental enamel erosion.
It exposes the vulnerable dentin beneath the enamel and teeth roots. It can cause several dental issues such as tooth decay and cavities.
4. Being Impatient While Brushing
It’s tempting to rush your brushing when hurrying to work or bed. Your impatience means your brushing is perfunctory and inefficient.
You should aim towards brushing for 3-minutes. Spending less time on brushing means you’re moving food bits around without cleaning.
Rinsing with water alone might even be better than doing a terrible job brushing.
If you wear braces, take more time brushing. You must be careful when scrubbing each bracket and wire.
The quality of your technique trumps the time you spend brushing. Take time twice a day and get it right. The long-term benefits make it worthwhile.
5. Keeping Your Toothbrush on Your Bathroom Counter
Despite your objections, the bathroom counter isn’t the right place for your toothbrush. The primary reason is the proximity of your countertop to the water closet.
Whenever you flush, the particles splash around. These particles include your faeces and urine. They can fly around and settle on your toothbrush.
To avoid such a situation, store your toothbrush elsewhere. Get a toothbrush holder and store it far from the water closet. Clean your brush before and after each use.
Some toothbrushes today come equipped with a cleaning kit.
6. Ignoring Your Tongue
Brushing your tongue might seem unnecessary, but it’s a crucial part of dental hygiene. After brushing your teeth, scrub your tongue to remove bacteria. Ignoring your tongue causes bad breath and tooth decay.
Tooth scrapers sold by pharmacies and health stores are another option.
7. Rinsing with Water
It might sound strange, but rinsing with water after brushing does you no favours. This is among those habits you learn at an early age without knowing its dangers.
Rinsing with tap water after scrubbing reduces the efficiency of your toothpaste’s fluoride. Many people are not aware of this.
What is the alternative? Use mouthwash with fluoride to rinse, disinfect, and freshen your mouth after brushing.
8. Brushing Immediately After Eating
Wait an hour after a meal before brushing your teeth. It’s crucial if you’ve taken acidic foods such as grapefruit, soda, or lemons.
You can take water or sugar-free gum to freshen your mouth while waiting.
9. Ignoring Dental Floss
If you haven’t yet, you must make flossing a daily habit. The minimum is once each day. It helps you remove plaque and food trapped between your teeth. When you don’t remove the plaque, it forms hardened deposits on your teeth’s surface.
These hardened deposits are far more difficult to remove.
Work the floss into those hard-to-reach areas. Dental floss can reach places your toothbrush cannot. These areas are breeding grounds for bacteria living off food particles.
Starting is the hardest part. Try to floss one tooth first, it gets easier as you continue.
10. Neglecting Your Gum Line
Your gum line (where your teeth meet your gum) can harbour bacteria. Many people even forget to clean their gums altogether, which isn’t advisable.
Brushing your teeth means brushing your whole tooth. This includes your gum and the gum line in particular.
These mistakes can build up into major oral health issues without proper care. Gum swelling and cavities can transition into periodontal disease and root canals.
Serious oral health issues are painful and expensive to treat. For instance, periodontal disease influences overall health beyond oral implications.
The rule of thumb is to add changes with moderation. Doing it all at once can be tough and dangerous. Add new ideas to your routine each week, ease into the new system. With time, you’ll notice a significant difference in your oral hygiene.
Avoiding brushing mistakes makes your dentist’s job easier.