Most Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes
Tooth brushing is the most popular dental hygiene procedure adopted by all ages and genders. It is such an ingrained habit that we do not think twice before doing it. The main reason behind brushing is to remove plaque and thereby prevent cavities and gum diseases. But how many of us are brushing the right way? How many of us make sure that the teeth are properly cleaned?
Here are few brushing mistakes which we should avoid at all cost.
Selecting the wrong brush:
The main reason why tooth brush companies comes out with brushes of different shapes is that you can select the brush that is best suited for your mouth. Ideally speaking, small to medium sized brushes are the best as it can reach the interiors of the mouth and clean even the wisdom tooth. Kids should be encouraged to use only kids brushes as it will be the perfect size. Similarly the brush bristles should be sturdy enough to remove plaque but not hard enough to damage the teeth and gums.
Brushing the wrong way:
You should brush your teeth in circular motion while tilting the brush at 45 degree angle towards the gums. This applies to all surfaces of the teeth – both inside and outside. The biting area of the teeth should also be thoroughly brushed.
Not brushing enough:
The ideal time for brushing is 2 minutes. Brushing early morning and late night before going to bed should be made a part of your routine. If you happen to eat or drink any sugary food, care should be taken to clean the teeth immediately. This is especially so in case of children as they tend to eat lot of sweet items. Kids can be encouraged to brush for the right amount of time by playing a song or setting timer.
Brushing too often and too hard:
Brushing should last for only 2 minutes and ideally should happen twice a day. Anything more than this can be harsh for the teeth. Similarly brushing too hard can erode the teeth of its enamel coating.
Ignoring the inside surface:
Even if you brush your teeth with the proper technique, there are instances where you can accidentally leave areas un-brushed. Sometimes the inner surface of teeth is completely ignored. This is especially so in case of kids. When the inner surface is not cleaned for a considerably long time, plaque is likely to form and damage the teeth. Similarly attention should be paid on cleaning the tongue as well, as it can contain lots of bacteria.
Always starting at the same place:
Most people start brushing at the same place each time they brush, they follow the same pattern of motions. Brushing becomes less effective towards the end and the last tooth will not be brushed properly. When this happens continuously the tooth that is brushed last is likely to get damaged fast. Make sure to start brushing at different areas of the teeth each time.
Using the same toothbrush for a long time:
The lifespan of a brush is three months. Once the three month period is over the brush should be changed. But if the bristles get worn off before this time frame then it should be changed before three months. Similarly if you have been sick for some time, then the tooth brush should be changed two to three days after you recover completely. Otherwise the same germs are likely to enter your body again through the toothbrush.
These are few of the common tooth brushing mistakes that people do. Try to avoid these mistakes.
Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team