So you think you know how to brush your teeth? You’re probably right, but how about brushing your teeth exactly as it is recommended by the world’s leading dental professionals?
In the latter instance, research has shown that the vast majority of people are in fact doing anything but brush their teeth in accordance with professional guidelines. For example, do you know how long you are supposed to wait after a meal before brushing your teeth? How about where in your mouth you should begin brushing from? And what about the areas of your mouth you should be giving additional focus when brushing?
If you can correctly answer these kinds of questions, well done! If not, you may find the following list of essential yet largely overlooked tooth brushing tips both interesting and useful in equal measures:
1 – Wait A While After Eating Before Brushing
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessarily a good idea to reach for the toothbrush the very moment you finish any given meal or snack. Instead, dentists actually recommend waiting for approximately 30 minutes before doing so. The reason being that immediately after meals, your mouth has a PH level that is somewhat lower than its norm. There’s also plenty more acid in there, meaning in turn that any abrasive brushing carried out too early could in fact damage your teeth.
2 – Start Brushing From A Different Place Every Time
Chances are that each and every time you start brushing, you do so from exactly the same place. The problem being that this inherently means that the teeth you brush first will get the most attention while other areas of your mouth at the back of the queue may go neglected. Whether you use the very best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth or a standard manual brush, it is equally important to start brushing from a different place every time.
3 – Don’t Be So Forceful
Almost everyone has their own unique approach to brushing their teeth. Nevertheless, research suggests that most people associate brushing teeth harder with a higher standard of hygiene. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case at all as the more aggressively you brush, the more damage you are likely to cause to the enamel protecting your teeth. Dentists advise taking note of whether or not the bristles on your brush bend on your teeth. If they do, you may want to think about softening things up a little bit.
4 – More Than The Minimum
Most people believe that dentists recommend brushing teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. The reality however, this is actually the minimum recommended daily oral hygiene recommendation. Which in turn means that you do not have to limit yourself to twice daily brushings or exactly 2 minutes every time.
5 – Focus On The Inner Side Of Your Teeth
Given the fact that the outside of your teeth is the surface you and everybody else sees, it’s natural to focus most of your time and effort right here. The problem being that not only does this have a habit of leading to a certain amount of neglect around the rest of the mouth, but it is actually the inner side of your teeth you should be focusing more attention on. The reason being that these are the suefaces that are in near constant contact with your tongue – your tongue just happening to be a place where bacteria and nastiness in general live and thrive.
6 – One Size Does Not Fit All
It’s worth noting that toothbrushes are manufactured in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for a very good reason. That reason being the fact that every single person in the world has a mouth which is to some extent 100% unique. Which in turn means that while the very best electric toothbrush in 2016 as recommended by the experts may be great for some, it may be entirely inappropriate for others. The shape and size of the head of your brush will determine how much of your mouth is accessible and how effectively your teeth, gums and tongue are cleaned.
7 – Your Brush Should Be Kept Immaculately Clean
It’s natural to assume that given the fact that your toothbrush has just been given a workout with plenty of toothpaste and water, chances are it must be pretty clean when you are done with it. In reality however, there’s every chance that it is actually harbouring millions of exactly the same kind of bacteria you were attempting to remove from your mouth. Sadly, you can probably figure out exactly where these bacteria end up next time you brush your teeth. It’s not that you necessarily have to go crazy with the sterilisation every time you use your toothbrush. Nevertheless, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that it is kept as clean as possible (including the handle) and stored appropriately.
8 – Change Your Toothbrush More Frequently
Research carried out by working dental professionals has shown that approximately 75% of people are still not changing their toothbrushes nearly as frequently as they should be. Official guidelines suggest that 3 to 4 months is the maximum time any standard toothbrush or toothbrush head should be used for. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that fewer than half of all adults change their toothbrushes every six months, waiting instead for them to largely fall to pieces before doing so. The simple fact of the matter is that toothbrushes are not designed to last this long, meaning that using them them beyond their ‘expiration date’ means you are not cleaning your teeth or mouth properly.
9 – Blood On Your Toothbrush Is Not Unusual, But Shouldn’t Be Ignored.
Last but not least, gum disease is surprisingly common and will to one extent or another affect the vast majority of adults during their lifetime. However, this does not mean when the signs and symptoms of gum disease present that they can be ignored. Quite to the contrary in fact as the earlier steps are taken to treat and/or prevent gum disease, the lower the likelihood of advanced periodontal and tooth loss.