Pretty much everyone knows they should brush their teeth at least twice a day. But does everyone know how to brush properly? Take a look at our Top 5 Tooth Brushing Mistakes:
1. Brushing too hard
Whoa there, tiger! Why so rough? Your teeth aren’t as hard as you may think. Vigourous brushing with a hard bristled toothbrush can actually wear away the enamel on your teeth resulting in sensitivity and the need for fillings. Plus, your sensitive (and fleshy!) gums are doing all they can to keep your teeth in place — if you brush too hard you can cause the gums to recede. The health of your gums is just as important as the health of your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and move it in small circles or vertical strokes to give them the best clean.
2. Brushing too softly
Just as much as you don’t want to brush too hard, you don’t want to be a wimp about it either. Brushing your teeth too softly simply won’t get the job done. Brushing in small circles or in an up and down motion with a firm, but not aggressive, amount of pressure, will help remove that pesky plaque from your chompers.
3. Moving the brush in the wrong direction
Shoving a toothbrush in your mouth and scrubbing willy-nilly isn’t the best use of your time. One approach (called the modified bass technique) is to place the brush on a 45º angle to your gum line, gently massage the gums side to side, and then roll the brush in a vertical direction. Don’t forget the chewing surfaces too. And remember to brush your tongue — it’s the best way to keep your breath fresh.
4. Using an “expired” toothbrush
You know the one we’re talking about. That old toothbrush you keep forgetting to replace. Its bristles are almost completely flattened. It reminds you of Rod Stewart’s spiky hair in the 80s. You may as well brush your teeth with spaghetti. The stand-up bristles of a new toothbrush are far more effective at removing plaque.
5. Using the wrong kind of toothpaste
You’ve probably noticed there are hundreds of different tubes to choose from. Looking at the wall of toothpaste feels like looking at a Where’s Waldo? cartoon without actually knowing what you’re looking for. Each major brand has a different flavours, different benefits and different packaging. What’s the best one to buy? Generally, you should always buy toothpaste with fluoride in it (except for small children). Fluoride helps make your teeth stronger. Next, if you are buying toothpaste with any sort of abrasive quality to it — like baking soda — you may want to use that paste on an irregular basis as consistent use may erode the enamel on your teeth. As for flavour, that is entirely up to you.