Are You Cleaning Teeth Wrong?

are you brushing your teeth all wrongWe all know that dental hygiene plays a big role in our overall health.  Brushing your teeth is the most important part of keeping up good dental health.  But are you cleaning teeth wrong? Denplan, a private dental insurance company, created a great infographic showing the best techniques for toothbrushing.

The advice comes from research by Denplan, that found 34 per cent of people admit to missing their dental appointments. And almost half of people said they wouldn’t see their dentist if they experienced bleeding gums – with one in ten reporting they would Google the problem instead.

Denplan’s infographic showing the best technique for tooth brushing, shows that angling the bristles at 45° towards the gum and brushing both sides of the teeth with small circular movements is best. It is also important not to forget to sweep the tongue – which can harbor the bacteria.

Check out the infographic and an instructional video by following the link below:

6 Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth

mistakes when brushingYou know how important it is to brush your teeth. You have most likely heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease and many other health issues. If you brush your teeth regularly, good for you.  But chances are, you are probably making at least one of these 6 mistakes when brushing your teeth.

You aren’t brushing at the right time of day – Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night.  This is according to Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS. Snacking before bedtime raises your risk of cavities because food can stay lodged between your teeth. Brushing in the morning is just as important.  Bacteria multiples while you sleep, so you need to brush it away.  Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes.

You use the wrong toothbrush – You should use a soft bristle toothbrush because it can slip under your gum tissue to dislodge plaque. If you don’t remove all the plaque, you are at risk of gum disease. Using a medium or hard bristle brush causes excessive pressure and can cause your gums to recede.

You don’t rinse – Just spitting out your toothpaste after brushing doesn’t remove all the harmful stuff that you got loose while brushing. You should use an alcohol free mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide.

You don’t use the correct technique – Just brushing straight up and down won’t get the job done.  You should position the handle of the brush so the bristles are at a 45 degree angle when touching the gums. Then rotate your wrist in a circular motion to remove the plaque. Turn your brush vertically when you move behind your front teeth and pay special attention to the back of your mouth.

You don’t replace your toothbrush – The ADA recommends buying a new brush every three or four months.  This way the brush is more effective as the bristles aren’t run down.  If you have been sick, you should get a new brush right away.

You ignore the rest of your mouth – Don’t just brush your teeth.  You should brush your tongue as well.  It can trap harmful bacteria and cause trouble for your mouth.

6 Mistakes You Make Every Time You Brush Your Teeth|Prevention

Are You Brushing Correctly?

toothbrush blue pasteIn a previous article, Toothbrushes and Toothpastes and Mouthwash… Oh My! A Guide to Dental Care Products, we mentioned that no matter how worthy or expensive of a toothbrush (or toothpaste) you buy, it’s not going to do you much good if you don’t brush properly. To get the most out of your at-home preventative dental care, it’s important that you know and implement a correct and effective brushing technique. This article can help you do exactly that!

The biggest mistake people make when brushing is thinking that swishing their toothbrush around for a mere 45-seconds is good enough. Your mouth may feel cleaner after doing so, but you’re barely putting up a fight, more or less actually preventing plaque and cavities by doing this. Another common mistake is not paying attention to what areas have been cleaned and what ones have barely been skimmed. A study done by Consumer Reports showed that the majority of participants poorly or completely skip brushing their molars in the back of the mouth and the inner surface of the teeth towards the tongue. And according to a follow-up survey conducted by dentists, this is believed to be true for a majority of our population as well.

hygienist brushing teeth model

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Try finding a song that is approximately 2 minutes long or watch some TV while brushing, so that you don’t cut the time short or get bored. You can also split your mouth into quadrants and spend at least 30 seconds on each section; that way you’re making sure to get all areas thoroughly and brushing for long enough. Position the brush at a 45-degree angle pointed toward the gum line so that one row of the bristle tips can slip slightly under the gums. As mentioned in Toothbrushes and Toothpastes and Mouthwash… Oh My!, use a brush with soft, nylon bristles or even ultrasoft, if you have sensitive gums. Don’t brush too hard as it can cause gum irritation and possibly abrasion. You don’t need much pressure to remove plaque. Move the brush in either a soft circular motion or gently back and forth in short strokes as to mimic a vibrating motion; or try a combination of both to remove plaque and bacteria. Make sure not to miss chewing surfaces of your teeth as well, food particles often get stuck in the crevices of our molars. Brushing your tongue can help remove bacteria and freshen breath, so be sure to get that too.

If you absolutely must skip a brushing session, don’t freak out. It’s okay (if you are brushing correctly, that is). Plaque can take up to 24 hours to form, just don’t make it a habit!

BONUS: Flossing fundamentals!

Flossing is just as important as brushing and should be used hand in hand since it can remove food, plaque and bacteria that a toothbrush can’t reach. When flossing, break off approximately 18 inches of floss. Wind a majority of the floss around a finger or two on one hand, and the remaining on the corresponding finger(s) on the other hand, creating a secure grip. Carefully move the thread between two teeth using a gentle sawing motion up to your gum line; then softly move the floss just slightly under the gums. Next, curve the thread into a “C” semi-around the tooth and sweep it up and down against the side of the tooth. And repeat! As you move to a new tooth, unwind clean floss from your first hand and wrap the used thread to your other hand (and make sure to wash your hands when finished!). You should either brush after or swish with a mouthwash, mouth rinse or water when finished to remove any plaque or particles that were loosened but not discarded while flossing.