Brushing our teeth is something we do every day, a vital part of maintaining positive oral health, and yet millions of us are doing it wrong. From overly short routines to brushing too hard, there’s plenty of us out there with bad brushing habits. We’re here to set the record straight and get you back on track with the right way to brush your teeth.
Before we even get to brushing, we need to talk about your toothbrushing equipment.
Lots of you will be surprised to find out that the stuff you’ve been putting your mouth, isn’t quite right! Everyone’s teeth are different and you have to adjust your kit appropriately! First of all, most professionals agree that it’s best to go electric if you can afford it. Put simply, this is because the action of an electric toothbrush is more effective at removing plaque from the tooth surface. If you don’t want an electric brush, it’s often best to opt for a manual brush with soft bristles as they can bend under the gum line and in between teeth.
Secondly, your choice of toothpaste matters – a lot. There are a few factors here which determine what you should be squeezing onto the head of your brush. You should always pick something that deals with any specific dental issues you might have – for example, if you have sensitivity then get a sensitive toothpaste. Despite your specific issues, it is almost always best to opt for fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride helps to strengthen our enamel, which protects your teeth against decay.
Now you’ve got your equipment sorted, it’s time to get to the actual toothbrushing.
Let’s start by saying that you should be brushing your teeth, twice a day for two minutes at a time. Most people don’t come close to brushing for that long. It isn’t easy to know when it’s been two minutes, so we (highly) recommend setting a timer on your phone.
It’s crucial that you give each section of your teeth equal attention with a consistent technique. Most people tend to brush their teeth quite hard from left to right at a horizontal angle – this is can actually damage your teeth. In fact, plaque is quite soft and can be removed with a much softer action. Whilst a hard action can scrub off thin layers of enamel. So, instead of ‘brushing’, your teeth try to think of yourself as ‘massaging’ them instead. Move your brush at a 45-degree angle in circular motions, starting at your gumline and work your way down.
It’s important that you conduct this technique over every part of your tooth. Making sure that you spend as much time on the front and back of your teeth, as well as every tooth in your tooth set. If you struggle to brush evenly, time out each section so you know that you’re getting an even and thorough coverage. Finally, do not forget to brush your tongue – just like your teeth, a build-up of bacteria on your tongue can cause decay to surrounding teeth, gum disease and bad breath.
Before you think about exercising your new toothbrushing technique.
You need to wait at least fifteen minutes between food or drink and brushing your teeth. If you don’t wait this long, you’ll effectively be brushing your acid into your teeth. Your saliva needs time to breakdown these acids before you brush your teeth but you can also help them along by drinking water after meals or snacks.
We brush our teeth every day and it’s important that we do it right. A bad brushing routine can lead to poor oral health. If you take the time to practice the guidelines set out above, you’ll be on the right track to healthy and great-looking teeth!