Quality dental care from a caring friendly practice


26 February 2019

Common mistakes you’re making brushing your teeth

It’s something we all learn from an early age and something we do every day – so why is it that when it comes to brushing our teeth so many of us are getting it wrong? It seems to be a common misconception that brushing and brushing alone is enough; when shockingly brushing your teeth misses more than half the bacteria in your mouth.

Most of us are certain that we are getting our dental hygiene right, we brush and floss on a daily basis and occasionally pay a visit to the dentist. Unfortunately, it’s not just about the process we go through in dental hygiene but the regularity that matters.

Going to the dentist is hardly something that most of us would consider being a pleasurable experience, that said, there are a few handy tips you can consider to make your dental check-ups a little easier on yourself. Here are some of the most common toothbrushing mistakes that people make:

Not cleaning between our teeth

We all know we should be cleaning between our teeth, with dental floss, interdental brushes or interdental sticks- getting started is the difficult part. There is a wealth of evidence to prove the many additional benefits of doing so. How you do it depends on how tight your teeth fit against each other- your dentist or hygienist will find out the best method for you. The combination of brushing and interdental cleaning significantly lowers the risk of gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease when your gums appear irritated and swollen.) Leaving gingivitis untreated leads to gum disease, bone loss and eventually tooth loss.

Not using fluoride

The obsession these days seems to be about getting the perfect pearly white Hollywood smile. While getting your teeth whitened might be a temporary improvement, in terms of long term maintenance, it’s so much more important to make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral compound that helps prevent cavities from developing by making the outer surface of your teeth stronger. Using fluoride significantly lowers the risk of developing tooth decay by slowing down the breakdown of enamel. Using fluoride is beneficial to both children and adults in strengthening weak spots in your mouth. For children under the age of six, it’s recommended they use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste. 

Not replacing your toothbrush regularly

It’s recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Using a brush that is frayed with broken bristlesisn’t going to keep your mouth clean and will be less effective at removingplaque

Not brushing for long enough

Your teeth should be brushed for a full 2 minutes twice a day, however, the average time for most people is only 45 seconds. Try setting a timer or opt for a toothbrush that has a timed setting. If you’re not brushing for long enough, you’re not cleaning your teeth efficiently and this is another factor that can lead to the loss of gum tissue and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Brushing too hard

In the same way that not brushing for long enough can be an issue, brushing for too long and too hard can also bedetrimental to your teeth. Using too much pressure can trigger abrasion of enamel and gum tissue which can then lead to overly sensitive teeth. It’s recommended that you use your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth as this will help encourage a more gentle level of pressure. Most dentists recommend electric toothbrushes, there are some great electric toothbrushes that light up when you brush too hard.

For quality care for all ages, Acorn Practise based in York is committed to providing a high quality service which means fewer treatments and a healthier smile. Contact us today.

01904 789 876