You know it. I know it. We haven’t been diligent enough in maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine. Yet we are willing to invest more time and money on the latest skincare products and less so on oral hygiene products.
Brushing your teeth might seem mundane but it is crucial for having healthy teeth and gums. Toothbrushing helps remove dental plaque from the surfaces of the teeth and prevents the onset of gum disease.
Although most of us have been taught the correct brushing techniques since primary school, not all of us practise good oral hygiene on a habitual basis (me included).
What are some of the common mistakes we tend to make while brushing our teeth?
1. Using toothbrushes with bristles that are not soft enough.
Hard bristles do not equate to more thorough brushing. In fact, toothbrushes with hard bristles (likes the ones provided by hotels) damage the gums and erode our tooth enamel. It reminds me of those times when my gums would bleed whenever I use a toothbrush with tough bristles.
Opt for a toothbrush with softer bristles that are more gentle on your teeth and gums. I like Colgate® 360°® Whole Mouth Clean toothbrush (soft) which not only has soft bristles but also has a cheek and tongue cleaner built into its design.
2. Forgetting to brush your tongue and gums
Our tongues harbour a lot of bacteria too! Don’t forget to brush your tongue gently with a toothbrush or use a tongue cleaner to scrape off bacteria and dirt.
As you gently brush your gums in small, circular motions, you are also massaging the gums and promoting blood circulation in the gum region. Our gums need to be strong and healthy to hold our teeth in place. Don’t neglect them!
3. Brushing your teeth way too hard and often
We are all guilty of this, aren’t we? Brushing our teeth overzealously when in a rush for time. In doing so, our enamel may start to wear out over time.
If you notice your gum line receding, it could be a sign that you’re overbrushing your teeth. Remember, hard brushing does not apply to tooth cleaning.
4. Not brushing your teeth long enough
The recommended brushing time is about 2 minutes. If you take less than a minute to brush your time, you might miss out on certain areas in between.
Two minutes, for some us, may seem like an eternity, but for me, I will find ways to kill time. Either I slap on a face-mask and let it sit while I do it, or leave the hair conditioner on my hair while I brush my teeth in the shower.
5. Using toothpaste with little or no fluoride in it.
Fluoride is usually added into toothpaste as it helps to maintain the overall health of our teeth. This mineral helps to strengthen the teeth enamel and helps prevent tooth corrosion. Whatever type of toothpaste you get, be it whitening or anti-bacterial, make sure it contains fluoride.
Currently, I’m using this one with antibacterial fluoride – Colgate®Total Whole Mouth Health toothpaste. It’s part of my personal oral care holy grail now as it has kept my breath fresh and clean for a
6. Positioning the toothbrush at a wrong angle
The angle of your toothbrush does matter.
We tend to position our toothbrush at a 90-degree angle instead of a recommended 45-degree angle. By tilting your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, it enables the toothbrush to reach the inner gum regions. Thus, it makes it a more efficient way of brushing your teeth.
Once you got the angle right, you can sweep or roll the brush away from the gum line more effectively. Remember to brush all corners of your tooth surface too.
Healthy teeth and gums begin with good proper brushing techniques. And it is important for us to master them well so that we will be able to coach our little ones.
Don’t forget to brush your teeth before you going to sleep!