Brushing your teeth is one of the best things you can do in order to maintain your oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily enables us to keep our mouth, teeth and gums clean. However, improper brushing can be almost as bad as not brushing at all. Bad brushing habits can lead to a lifetime of regrets and unfortunately there many many people who are not brushing properly. Here are some bad habits we have noticed over the years that you must stop doing immediately to keep your teeth strong and your gums healthy.
- Keeping your toothbrush for too long This is one of the easiest and common mistakes many people make. We all get into our routines and get so caught up with life it is hard to notice when you need to replace your toothbrush. Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months. This ensures that you are using a nice clean brush that is free of old bacteria and debris. There are other signs that can show you that you may need to replace your toothbrush. If your toothbrush bristles are frayed, frizzy or discoloured, it is definitely a sign that you need to replace it.
- Brushing after eating You may have heard that it is good practice to brush your teeth after every meal. While this is good advice, it should be followed by the fact that you should wait at least 30 – 60 minutes after you have eaten, especially if you have had anything acidic with your meal such as a soft drink or lemons. This is because your enamel needs time before being brushed otherwise brushing too soon can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth.
- Not brushing long enough Your teeth should be brushed for at least a full two minutes, we have all heard this since we were so young and yet, the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. That simply is not enough time to effectively clean your teeth. Some toothbrushes come with an inbuilt timer that can help you continue brushing for the full two minutes.
- Storing your brush Once you have finished brushing, it is important that you store your toothbrush upright and let it dry out in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container as it will just work as a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.
- Brushing too hard Just like it isn’t great for your teeth to use a toothbrush with hard bristles, it is also not great to put so much pressure on your teeth while brushing them. We get it, sometimes you may think that the harder you brush, the better you are cleaning your teeth. However, a gentle brushing is all that is needed to effectively clean your teeth. Brushing with too much pressure may cause damage to your gums.
In addition to stopping these bad habits, it may be helpful for you to ask your dentist about any brushing concerns you may have. In St John’s Wood and Maida Vale there are different sites where you can obtain tooth cleaning appliances. Tesco Petrol Station, opposite to Everyman Cinema, and other local convenience stores sell tooth pastes, dental floss/dental tape and manual tooth brushes. For interdental brushes/TePe brushes and electric toothbrushes your best option would be one of the local dental practices. If you would like to enquire about any of these feel free to visit us here at Maida Smiles Clinic, we will be more than happy to talk you about the different products and discuss some effective brushing techniques.