How not to brush teeth
Central London Smilepod dentist talk about brushing teeth and give oral hygiene tips.
We all hear tips and tricks about the best ways to look after our teeth and gums, but did you know that some methods of brushing can actually be harmful?
If in doubt Smilepod’s friendly dentists will be happy to advise. Drop into one of our five Central London Studios for more advice.
Sometimes knowing how not to brush your teeth can be as beneficial as knowing how to brush your teeth. In layman’s terms, there are several things many of us do when brushing our teeth that should be avoided. Such things can lead to gum infections, plaque build-up, bad breath and a range of other oral hygiene problems. Here is effectively a guide of how not to brush your teeth, with insight into what people often do wrong.
Using the wrong toothbrush:
One major mistake people make is thinking that any toothbrush is good for them, so long as it’s new. This is most certainly not the case and different toothbrushes will work better for different people.
Ensure that your toothbrush is not too big. If your toothbrush can barely perform the right movements at the side and back of your mouth, then it is most probably too big.
In essence, the person holding the toothbrush will determine whether your mouth gets a good cleaning or not. However, by having a toothbrush that’s too big, you will effectively limit the amount of cleaning you will be able to achieve.
Using the wrong bristles:
On the topic of toothbrushes, you should not underestimate the importance of bristles in the tooth brushing process. Basically, some toothbrushes have straight bristles whilst others have angled bristles. Which one works best for you will depend on your personal brushing technique.
It can, however, be said that bristles that are too hard can aggravate the gums. A soft-bristled brush is therefore recommended.
Not brushing correctly:
There are many people who do not brush their teeth using the correct movements. Check online videos and dental websites such as the NHS oral hygiene section and https://mouth.org to learn more about brushing techniques.
Not brushing often enough or brushing for too short a time:
Another common mistake is not brushing often enough or brushing for too short a time. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, though three times a day is recommended. Brushing should be done for about three minutes.
Not brushing your teeth often enough or brushing them for too short a time can lead to the build-up of bacterial plaque and the increased risk of gum inflammation amongst other problems.
On the flipside, you should make sure that you do not brush too hard, too often or for too long. Brushing more than three times a day is not healthy for your oral hygiene and excessive brushing can irritate the gums by exposing the root of the tooth. Brushing vigorously is also a bad idea as it can erode tooth enamel.
You should brush gently for two to three minutes, two to three times a day: once when you wake up after breakfast, the second time during the day (preferably after eating) and then once more just before bed.
Philips Sonicare toothbrushes (available for purchase at all of our Central London Smilepod Studios) have built-in timers that can help you time how long you brush for. All Phillips Sonicare toothbrushes have interval timers to ensure your entire mouth is cleaned for the right length of time as people naturally tend to focus on the left or right side. Ask our dentists for more information or a trial on your next dental hygiene visit.
One alternative technique to help you brush for the right amount of time is to play a song that lasts for three minutes whilst brushing your teeth. This has the double advantage of effectively timing the duration of your brushing whilst providing some entertainment to distract you during the process.
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