Top 10 Red Flags on Tooth Brushing

By Amy Taylor on August 22, 2012

Tooth brushing is the simplest, cheapest and most effective way to take care of our teeth. We’ve all been doing it since childhood so what could be wrong?

Being careless about our tooth brushing habit can lead to cavities and gum disease. Here are the top 10 tooth brushing mistakes that a lot of people do over and over again. Check if you also commit any of these:

1.       Using the wrong toothbrush

The recommended size of toothbrush is small to medium, according to the British Dental Health Foundation. Before, people have solely relied on manual toothbrushes. But with the arrival of the electronic brushes, many people, especially the older ones have greatly benefited. The British Dental Health Foundation found electronic toothbrushes to be 25% more effective than manual brushes.

2.       Choosing the brush with inappropriate bristles

The Foundation recommends using a brush with soft to medium multi-tufted and round-ended nylon bristles. The bristles of your toothbrush must be durable enough to remove plaque but aren’t too stiff that might lead to tooth damage.

3.       Brushing for not long enough

A two-minute tooth brushing twice a day is sufficient to remove the plaque that has formed in your teeth. You do not need to brush too often unless you eat lots of sugary foods.  If you’re outdoors and you don’t have your toothbrush, just gargle with water after consuming sweet treats. 

4.       Incorrect tooth brushing

According to the foundation, the following steps are the proper way of cleaning the teeth: Place the head of the toothbrush against the teeth, tilting the bristle tips in a 45-degree angle against the gum line. Brushing must be done in circular movements and for several times. Brush the outer area (upper and lower) of each tooth, still keeping the bristles angled against the gum line. For the inner tooth surfaces, tilt the brush on a vertical position and make small circular strokes with the front part of the brush. 

5.       Brushing too much and too often

Too much brushing can scrape out the enamel on your teeth which is essential in keeping it white and protected from cavity-causing plaque. It may also expose the gums to irritation. So aside from limiting the number of brushing sessions, you should also be gentle on your teeth. 

6.       Not brushing the inner surfaces of teeth

The plaque the builds up in the inner teeth surfaces is just as damaging as the plaque that is formed on the outer surfaces so make sure you also give attention to them. Check step 4 for the proper way to brush inner teeth surfaces. 

7.       Not rinsing the brush

If you don’t rinse your toothbrush well, chances are the bacteria you’ve just removed will remain and multiply! And the next time you brush your teeth, you are likely to put them back. Thoroughly rinse your brush before keeping it. 

8.       Not drying the brush after use

A wet toothbrush is prone to bacteria. It is recommended that you have two brushes so you always have something to use while waiting for the other toothbrush to get dry. 

9.       Not changing toothbrush

You should change your brush after 2 or 3 months, or when the bristles have become soggy and frayed out. 

10.   Starting at the same area over again

Majority of us start brushing on the same teeth surfaces over and over again. But dentists suggest that it’s better to begin brushing on a different area for cleaner and better brushing results.

By observing the right ways to brush and clean your teeth, you are always ready to smile wide, and with confidence.


Source of this article:

The British Dental Health Foundation

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