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Tooth Brushing Mistakes

September 19, 2022

Filed under: General Dentistry — fava @ 12:00 am

For complete oral care, only brushing your teeth is not enough. One should be aware of the appropriate technique for brushing teeth, how long and how frequently to brush, the kind of toothbrushes to use, the importance of flossing, and finally, when to visit your dentist. Here’s a list of common tooth brushing mistakes one should avoid.

  • Brushing once a day: Brushing only once a day cannot prevent plaque and bacteria build-up. Therefore, can cause bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.
  • Brushing too hard: Most people believe brushing hard in rapid motion can help clean better. But doing this can damage the enamel layer, causing hypersensitivity, and can form ditches called cervical abrasions. Therefore, it can cause your gums to recede and cause bleeding.
  • Using hard bristled brush: The way you brush is what keeps your teeth clean. Hard bristled brushes can erode the enamel, causing hypersensitivity, and can damage your gums.
  • Not changing your brushes every 3-4 months/after an infection: Flared bristles indicate overused brushes and should be changed immediately. They don’t clean properly and can damage gums. You must keep your brush in a clean, dry place and can disinfect it once a week.
  • No flossing: Flossing cleans the hard-to-reach interdental areas of teeth. This makes up at least 30% of the entire tooth surface area. 
  • Not reaching every surface of each tooth: If a tooth is left unbrushed on a continual basis, the plaque and bacteria build up to cause oral diseases. 
  • Forgetting to brush the back of the teeth: The back of your teeth are not usually visible and contain a lot of plaque. Using an electric toothbrush with a long neck will help you reach the back of your teeth and eliminate unwanted bacteria. In addition, visiting the dentist for a dental cleaning will ensure no tooth gets left behind in the cleaning process. 
  • Forgetting about tongue and gums: Your tongue and gums are equally important for good oral health. Ignoring your tongue and gums can result in oral infections. A tongue cleaner is a fantastic tool to keep on the bathroom counter alongside other oral care tools. 

Your Tooth Brushing Routine 

You will need :

  • Toothpaste 
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Tongue cleaner
  • Mouthwash

Types of brushes: Manual/ electric 

Manual brushes are the standard plastic/bamboo-handled brushes that are used most extensively. They may have hard, medium, or soft bristles. Electric brushes are the ones that are battery-powered or can be charged and have a rotating and vibrating head that helps to clean tooth surfaces and help clean hard-to-reach places.

Toothpaste for adults must be fluoridated. Fluoride helps make a protective covering over our teeth to prevent caries. Kids require a pea-sized amount of paste for brushing. Children under three years should not be given fluoridated toothpaste.

How to brush correctly?

It would be best if you ideally changed your toothbrush every 3-4 months or after recuperating from an infection.

Steps to brush your teeth correctly

  • Wet your brush and apply a pea-sized amount of paste to the brush.
  • Start with one corner of your mouth and clean the tooth surfaces in circular motions. Clean the gum line at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Move your brush in a back-and-forth motion over the occlusal surfaces. 
  • Clean along the inside edges of all the teeth as well. Hold your brush straight and flip it to clean the inside surfaces of the front and backside of your teeth. 
  • Clean the tongue thoroughly. You can do this with your brush or with a tongue-cleaning tool. Most handheld toothbrushes have raised lines on the back to assist with tongue cleaning. 
  • Floss all interdental areas.
  • Rinse with plain water or mouthwash.
  • This process should take at least 2-3minutes from start to finish.

How to Floss?

  • Break 1-1.5feet /12-18inches of dental floss.
  • Wound it tightly between the thumb and index fingers of both hands.
  • Place floss between two teeth.
  • Curve it into a C shape at the top of the gum to mould the base of the tooth. 
  • Move up and down to remove build-ups.
  • Repeat with all teeth.

When in doubt, ask your dentist 

As a thumb rule, most adults require a professional dental cleaning twice a year. People who smoke are required to do this more frequently. It is advised to see your dentist every six months, even if you don’t have any oral issues, to maintain optimum oral health.

Professional dental cleaning involves detailed cleaning of all your teeth using an ultrasonic machine known as a dental scaler. The machine tip vibrates to loosen particles from your teeth. This may include tartar, plaque, and calculus, along with stains. This may take 20-50 minutes, depending on the level of cleaning required. The ultrasonic scaling is followed by polishing tooth surfaces to make them smooth.

It is recommended to talk to your dental health provider about/ family dentist about:

  • How frequently should you get dental cleaning done?
  • Which products do you need to use besides your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss? This is important when you wear dental braces or other intraoral appliances and spacers.
  • Whether you may need a mouth astringent to help your gums. 
  • If you need betadine or saline gargles
  • If you need to mouthwash regularly.
  • How to manage halitosis/ bad breath if you suffer from it despite brushing well.
  • What are the side effects of using mouthwash daily (staining in solid chlorhexidine cases)?
  • Side effects of frequent dental cleaning, if any.
  • Ask your dentist to learn how to clean your teeth after tooth removal or oral surgery.
  • Other alternatives to conventional toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • How to educate other family members on oral health.

Contact Torbram Dental and book your dental cleaning today!

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