Most of us probably still believed in the Tooth Fairy last time we worried about how we should brush our teeth.
Yet it might surprise you to know that it’s not just kids who don’t always do a great job when it comes to brushing their pearly whites. In fact, there are seven really common mistakes that many of us are making, day after day – mistakes that could lead to a build-up of plaque and ultimately problems with our teeth and gums.
1. Brushing too hard
Lots of people brush their teeth harder than they should, thinking that this will result in a more thorough clean. Actually, you could be damaging your gums and eroding the enamel on your teeth.
2. Using a poor technique
It’s easy to clean our teeth on auto-pilot giving little or no thought to technique. Yet doing this could mean we’re not getting rid of all the plaque and are leaving ourselves vulnerable to tooth and gum decay.
If you think you could brush up on the way you clean your teeth, why not ask the dentist to give you a lesson next time you go for a check-up? No need to feel embarrassed about this – dentists are used to teaching people of all ages how to brush better.
If you’re using a manual toothbrush, it’s well worth considering investing in an electric toothbrush too. Dentist and Oral B Smile Director, Dr Uchenna Okoye says, “An electric toothbrush is to a manual brush what a vacuum is to a dustpan and brush – there is no contest!”
3. Not changing your toothbrush regularly
A worn toothbrush – or toothbrush head if you use an electric toothbrush – won’t be as effective at removing plaque. Dentists recommend you change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.
4. Not brushing for long enough
Brushing your teeth properly takes time so make sure you do yours for at least two minutes twice a day. No cheating!
5. Not rinsing the brush well
How often do you put your toothbrush away after giving it just a quick rinse? Yet by doing this, you’re not properly washing away all the bacteria you’ve just removed from your mouth. Which means – yes, you’ve guessed it – you’re putting all that bacteria straight back into your mouth next time you clean your teeth.
6. Missing a bit
It’s easy to accidentally skip teeth. This usually happens when you flip your toothbrush over to brush the other side of your mouth. Once you’ve brushed your molars at the back of your mouth, make sure you brush right round into the middle of your mouth before turning the brush around – this will help you to avoid missing any teeth.
7. Not flossing
However well you clean your teeth, it’s important to floss too. Using Oral-B Satin Floss will help to get to all the bits your toothbrush can’t reach.
Make sure you know how to floss properly; cover each side of the tooth, working the floss down and up both sides of the tooth, all the way to the gum line.
Some people like to complement their oral hygiene routine by using a mouthwash like Oral-B Anti-Plaque Alcohol Free Mouthwash.
We’d love to hear from you
Do you use a manual or an electric toothbrush? Are you making any brushing mistakes or do you get an A* for your teeth cleaning?