We have been instructed on the importance of brushing our teeth since we were young. But it is too easy to make a simple mistake when we clean our teeth, and end up with problems that could have been easily avoided.
Brushing morning and Night
It is too easy to just brush once per day, but this causes far more problems than we might realise. We need to brush in the morning to be rid of bad breath. We need to brush at night because there is a day’s worth of food left in the mouth, which feeds the bacteria in the mouth as we sleep.
Brushing too Hard
If we clean every day then the plaque on our teeth should be soft, and easy to remove with light brushing. It is the time, 2 minutes at least, we spend brushing that removes this plaque, not the pressure we put on the brush. Hard pressure is bad, because it wears away the tooth enamel. This leaves us with sensitive teeth, a condition that is hard to cure.
Hard bristle toothbrushes cause the same abrasive wear as hard brushing.
Not brushing for Long Enough
Brushing is not difficult. But we need to adequately cover every tooth in the mouth. This takes about two minutes. Most people don’t even spend half this time brushing. This means tartar will build up in some parts of the mouth. This tartar is hard to remove.
A timer, some brushes have them built in, will help us stick to the 2-minute minimum.
Just using mouthwash
It is a mistake to think that mouthwash does away with the need for flossing. We actually need both. Floss removes the physical food debris and plaque. Mouthwash fights the germs.
Using Floss Picks but not Floss.
Floss picks (interdental brushes) are useful for cleaning between molars, but we need the action of traditional floss as well, especially for the front teeth. Floss removes plaque on the sides of a tooth, which prevents cavities between the teeth.
Avoiding Flossing because the Gums Bleed
If the gums bleed we have not been cleaning and flossing enough. We need to floss more often. Start by using mouthwash, to kill the bacteria in the mouth. We don’t want that bacteria to get into our bloodstream. Then floss every tooth. After a few weeks of diligent flossing the gums should stop bleeding.
Bleeding gums may be the sigh on an infection. Have this immediately checked by the dentist.
Brushing too soon after Eating and Drinking.
Many acidic or sugary foods will soften the enamel of our teeth. If we brush while the enamel is still soft we end up wearing that enamel away. Wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing, and either drink plain water or chew sugar free gum in the meantime to help clean those teeth.
Using Cheap, non-ADA approved Toothpaste
Some toothpastes are poor quality, especially if they are bought at import stores. Overseas products are not subjected to any evaluation by the Dental Association, and may even contain toxic chemicals. A good ADA approved toothpaste is not too expensive.
Only seeing the dentist when you are in pain
Preventative dentistry is the best approach, finding the problem early on before it is too serious. Regular dental appointment means you avoid pain and avoid costly procedures, because the potential issues are caught early on.
See the dentist every six months.
Diligent cleaning and regular dental appointments will give us the best dental health possible.