A beautiful smile is one of your most attractive traits and clean teeth and good oral hygiene habits not only help you feel confident about your looks and breath but they help you keep your gums and teeth healthy for chewing and grinding food. Brushing your teeth is an ideal way to maintain healthy gums and teeth and it is an everyday routine. Do you feel like you have the perfect brushing routine? Well, most people do but dentists state that the average person makes several mistakes while brushing either due to laziness or a lack of knowledge and with time these mistakes becomes a part of the routine making it hard to let go of. Brushing your teeth is an integral part of oral hygiene but proper brushing is paramount to prevent various oral problems like teeth staining, cavities, gum bleeding and plaque formation. Since brushing is something you get to do for your entire life, it might seem like an easy task but you would be surprised to know how common it is to get it all wrong during this routine task.

Keeping your teeth in top shape requires regular visits to the dentist however, good dental hygiene starts at home by brushing the right way to maintain healthy gums and teeth. You may have decades of experience brushing your teeth with no dental issues but I am willing to wager that you are making at least one or more of these mistakes.

1.Using your toothbrush for too long

After over one hundred and fifty uses in 3 months with a daily use of twice a day for seven days a week, you would need to switch your toothbrush because the bristles are bound to be worn out and frayed. Most of you will probably change your toothbrushes twice in a whole year which is often not enough. Sometimes, once we find the perfect toothbrush it may seem hard to replace but brushing with worn out toothbrushes with bent or frayed bristles can compromise your oral health. Frayed or broken bristles will not clean your mouth properly. Change your toothbrush once the bristles lose their flexibility because after a couple of months of daily use, bacteria and food particles begin to accumulate on your toothbrush.

Dentists recommend changing your toothbrushes every three to four months so get on it even if you can’t quite tell or feel if yours is fraying because a worn toothbrush not only damages your gum but also is inefficient for your oral health. If you notice your toothbrush splaying before the three month mark, it could mean you are brushing improperly or with too much force and you still would have to change to a new set.

  1. Not brushing long enough

Two minutes is the recommended duration for a tooth brushing session. While it may seem like a long time, it is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes – 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. The average person’s brushing time is about 45 seconds or less which is not long enough to properly clean your teeth and remove all food and plaque. Anything shorter than 2 minutes doesn’t give the fluoride in your toothpaste enough time to attach to your tooth enamel. You routinely miss out on clean teeth by cutting short your brushing time and neglecting different parts of your mouth. You may have pearly white teeth in front but what about the sides of your teeth or those in the back of your mouth? You can start by setting a timer when you start to brush or using an electric toothbrush that comes with a timer. Use what you can to ensure you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes interval.

3.Not cleaning your tongue

Your tongue is a receptacle for germs and most often the cause of bad breath. After brushing your teeth ensure to clean your tongue to prevent bad breath and remove bacteria. You can use a tongue cleaner that helps scrape the residual bacteria off your tongue or get a toothbrush that has a tongue scraper on the opposite side. You can also use the bristles of your brush to clean your tongue although it is not as good as the tongue scraper but it will get the job done.

4.Forgetting your gums

Most of our brushing time is spent cleaning the chewing surfaces only but you should know that the gum line – cleavage between the teeth and gum towards the root of the teeth can harbor a lot of bacteria and plaque which are responsible for future gum bleeding and pain which is why you must not forget or skip to clean your gum line. To clean, keep your brush bent at a 45 degree angle and clean with soft circular motions. You can use a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent your gum from getting hurt.

5.Using the wrong toothbrush

Toothbrushes comes in different shapes and sizes and size is very important because when you use a size that is too small for your oral cavity it may not be able to cover all the surfaces that needs cleaning and similarly, a big brush for a small mouth may not be able to reach the corners of the mouth and could hurt the gums too. Also, comparing bristle hardness and patterns is important as well. If the bristles are too stiff or hard, they could hurt your gums remember, it is not the firmness of your brush that cleans your teeth but the motion of your brushing. Go for soft or extra soft bristles because all you need is a brush to dislodge food particles that are stuck between your teeth and not to shine them to a buff.

6.Using incorrect brushing techniques and motions

The correct way to brush your teeth is in circles not brushing back and forth. Circular motions are more gentle and effective at cleaning the gaps between the teeth. Improve your oral health by tilting your brush vertically behind the front and bottom teeth using gentle rolling strokes with just the front half of your toothbrush. Ensure to hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle with short circular strokes. Pointing the bristles at this angle guarantees superior cleaning beneath and above the gum line.

7.Not changing your brushing pattern

Brushing is something we do on auto-repeat so we end up brushing the same areas by default and miss brushing same areas every day. You can change things up by starting from a different area and following irregular patterns. It may take some intentional thought, but it will ensure that all of your teeth are properly cleaned.

8.Brushing too hard

This is the most common mistake people make when brushing due to the general misconception that the power of your stroke is what cleanses your teeth but that is all wrong because it is the motion of your brush that does the cleaning. Brushing too hard can wear out your tooth enamel and gums and cause tooth sensitivity and if the bristles of your toothbrush are splayed out, then you are brushing too hard.

9.Brushing your teeth more than twice

There is really no need to brush your teeth more than the recommended two times a day –once in the morning and once before bed. Some people think it is okay to brush three or four times in a day usually after every meal but brushing more than two times a day can damage your gums and erode your teeth enamel and that is not something you would love.

Also, brushing immediately after a meal is bad because after eating your mouth PH level drops and your saliva has higher acid content and brushing your teeth immediately can rub in these acids into your teeth enamel so you should wait for at least 30 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth.

Since it takes about three weeks to learn a new habit, you can start by effecting one change to your teeth brushing routine every week to improve your oral health.

By King Aguguo

King Aguguo is a local and international model, actor, and entrepreneur, lives in Maryland USA. He is passionate about fashion and it's accessories and therefore launched FASHIONTRENDSNEWS.ORG as a platform to inform, advise, and interact with his fans and the general public in making an informed decision with their fashion statement.

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