Brushing your teeth: it’s something you do twice a day (well, you should be brushing twice a day!). Yet even though we’ve all been doing this since we were tiny tots, you’d be amazed by how many of us aren’t actually brushing our teeth correctly.
Until we bring it up with our patients, we don’t seem to find many people bringing up this topic willingly. It appears to be one of those things people automatically assume they’re doing correctly. A few questions later though, and our team is more often than not, uncovering some serious flaws in the way people think they should be brushing their pearly whites.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes we learn our patients are making.
Mistake #1 – Brushing too hard
Some people think the harder they brush, the better the results will be without thinking of the damage they may be doing in the process. When you brush your teeth too hard, the chances of enamel breakage are higher, even more so if you tend to clench or grind your teeth. Aggressive brushing is also a big no-no when it comes to sensitive gums and a host of other issues.
Mistake #2 – Forgetting to swap your brush over
We get it: life is hectic! And since brushing your teeth tends to be something you do first thing in the morning and late in the evening, that mental note you make to swap over your toothbrush, can be easily forgotten. Ideally, you should be swapping your brush over every two to three months because after this time, bacteria and food particles begin to gather on the bristles as well as the handle (it makes sense when you think about it and get over the gross factor!).
Mistake #3 – Failing to brush your tongue
How can you eat without food touching your tongue? You can’t! And that’s exactly why you need to be brushing your tongue as well as your teeth. In fact, the tongue contains a heap of bacteria simply from eating and drinking. While people often don’t realise it, a lot of issues with bad breath actually stem from the tongue.
Mistake #4 – Not rinsing out your mouth
Whenever your brush or floss, you should always rinse your mouth out afterwards to ensure the bacteria doesn’t remain in your mouth. While water is better than nothing, a good alcohol-free, germ-killing mouthwash is possibly the better option for Preventative Dental Care.
Mistake #5 – You’re not brushing for long enough
We always recommend that people brush for about 2 minutes in total. Now that doesn’t sound like a huge amount of time but you’d be surprised at how many people cut their brushing time short. Next time you go to brush your teeth, just for fun, why not set a timer and see how long you’ve really brushed your teeth for when you think you’re done?
Recognise any of the mistakes we’ve listed here? If you’d like to have a chat to one of our NovaDental dentists, book an appointment today: 1300 549 750.