Whether it’s the amount of time you dedicate to brushing your gnashers or the way you handle the toothbrush, which oral health faux pas are you making?
Not brushing your teeth for long enough
“I typically advise brushing for a minimum of two minutes, twice a day,” recommended Bhalla.
“Splitting the two minutes evenly between the upper and lower teeth, as well as focusing on the front, back, and chewing surfaces, ensures comprehensive cleaning.”
Bhalla added: “It is important to note that two minutes is a general guideline, and some individuals may require more or less time depending on their specific oral health needs.”
Avoiding the tongue
While you are brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, twice daily, you need to make sure you are cleaning the tongue.
“The tongue is a haven for bacteria, food particles, and dead cells, making it a potential breeding ground for bad breath and oral health issues,” warned Bhalla.
“Bacteria on the tongue can contribute to plaque formation, tooth decay, and gum disease.”
Gently brushing the tongue clean, or using a tongue scraper, can ensure bacteria is removed and your breath is more likely to be fresh.
Brushing too hard
“When you brush your teeth vigorously or use excessive force, it can cause damage to your gums and tooth enamel,” cautioned Bhalla.
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“The enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth, and if it wears away, it can lead to tooth sensitivity, cavities, and an increased risk of tooth decay.
“Aggressive brushing can also irritate and damage your gums, resulting in gum recession, gum sensitivity, and even gum disease.”
The best technique is to use a “gentle and circular motion with a soft-bristled toothbrush”.
Not changing your toothbrush
Another oral faux pas is not changing your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if electric) often enough.
“It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every three to four months,” Bhalla advised.
“You should change up the pattern in which you brush your teeth,” said Bhalla as, otherwise, you could be missing the same spots, over and over again.
Payal Bhalla is the lead dentist and clinical director of Quest Dental.
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