Are You Brushing Your Teeth The Wrong Way

brushing-2When you’ve been brushing your teeth twice a day, every day for as long as you can remember, it’s unlikely that you would think twice about whether you are brushing in the right way. The reality is that most people have a set routine when they are brushing, but could you be brushing in the wrong way, and should you make changes to your usual brushing habits to improve your oral health?

Choosing a toothbrush

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying the wrong toothbrush. With so many different brands and products out there, it can be difficult to know which brush is best for you, but your Sensu dentist or dental hygienist will always be happy to help. As a general guide, it is best to go for a brush with a small or medium-sized head with soft or medium bristles. With a smaller brush head, you can reach into the corners of the mouth and cover all the surfaces of the teeth. Soft bristles enable you to clean effectively without damaging the enamel. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, but you should be able to clean your teeth thoroughly with a normal toothbrush.

Brushing technique

brushingWhen you brush your teeth, it’s important to ensure that you use the right technique. Brush firmly, but not aggressively or vigorously and cover all surfaces of the tooth. Spend an equal portion of time on each quadrant of the mouth and angle the head of your toothbrush so that you clean along the gum line. It’s easy to assume that brushing hard produces a deeper clean, but actually, brushing very hard increases the risk of oral health problems because it can contribute to enamel wear.

How long should I brush for?

Many people would admit to simply running a brush around their teeth when they are in a hurry, but it’s really important to make sure you brush for the recommended time of at least 2 minutes each time. This ensures a thorough clean. If you have difficulty brushing for 2 minutes, you could try brushing along to a song, or investing in a brush which has a built-in timer.

When should I be brushing?

dent-3Ideally, you should brush once in the morning and once in the evening before you go to bed. Avoid brushing directly after eating, as the enamel becomes soft temporarily after you eat and brushing at this stage will increase the risk of enamel wear. Try to wait around one hour after eating before you brush.

Am I using the right toothpaste?

If you go to a supermarket or high street pharmacy in search of toothpaste, you will probably be greeted with a whole aisle full of different products and with sparkly packaging, flavours aplenty and the promise of all kinds of benefits, it can be nigh on impossible to narrow down the selection to a single tube. It’s worth trying a few different brands, seeing which ones you like and going for products which suit your needs; if you have sensitive teeth, for example, you can buy specially designed toothpaste to provide relief and prevent pain in the future. If you have any questions about which toothpaste to buy, your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to make recommendations. Most dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste to strengthen and protect the enamel.