Health

Many People Make These Mistakes While Brushing Their Teeth

The best accessory you can wear is a smile! It’s true; besides, people always notice teeth when you see someone else — almost immediately. A healthy… Trista - July 23, 2020

The best accessory you can wear is a smile! It’s true; besides, people always notice teeth when you see someone else — almost immediately. A healthy smile can change your face and also will make you want to smile more. Adverts dominate our televisions and social media pages with images of people with the most amazing smiles; their teeth are always gleaming and white. We are also told that we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day – but you could be doing this wrong.

Make sure you brush your teeth properly twice a day for optimal oral hygiene. Shutterstock.

Is Brushing Your Teeth Twice A Day Important?

Have you ever been told that you should brush your teeth multiple times a day? Brushing your teeth is essential. However, you should be aware that even if you are doing this twice a day, it doesn’t mean you are doing it correctly and effectively. Now, you might ask, how could you possibly brush your teeth wrong? You might be shocked to learn that you have 300-700 bacteria in your mouth at this current time. Don’t be alarmed; this is normal for everyone, but you must take care of as many of them as possible for a cleaner mouth and fresher breath.

When we don’t clean our teeth properly, these bacteria then stick to any food particles left in our teeth. In turn, this can lead to oral issues and the need for fillings, and the dreadful root canals that we have nightmares about. It is the main reason people have cavities, receding gum lines, and the buildup of plaque and tartar that can be hazardous to a person’s health. Instead of leaving it to the dentist to fix every six months, knowing how to brush your teeth properly can save you from some pain in the future.

Be consistent with your teeth cleaning and make sure you are looking after your teeth properly. Shutterstock.

Look After Your Teeth Now

It is vital that you properly take care of your teeth right now. That is not something you can just do once in a while and hope for the best. You need to be consistent and regular about making sure that your teeth are clean. It means not only brushing your teeth twice a day but flossing as well. You also need to start to become more aware of how you are brushing your teeth. Believe it or not, many people don’t realize there are specific ways to brush your teeth properly. If you don’t, you could have a whole lot of dental issues in the future. And dental problems can become extremely expensive.

It won’t just cause you to get cavities; you could also experience more serious and painful tooth and mouth illnesses. These can include gum diseases and bone and gum loss when you don’t have good oral hygiene. You need to start with learning the correct habits when it comes to your teeth as soon as possible. Moreover, knowing how to brush your teeth properly is just a start. Using the toothpaste that is right for your teeth as well will help you prevent future problems. Everyone’s teeth and mouth health might be slightly different, so if you are not sure which products are best for you, check with your dentist!

Brushing your teeth isn’t as straightforward as you think, and you need to learn how to do it properly. Shutterstock.

Learn To Brush Your Teeth Properly

Some of us might remember getting our first toothbrushes as kids. If you’re like me, your parents might have bought a little stool so that you can reach the sink to get your toothbrush wet and spit when you’re done. You probably think that brushing your teeth is very simple since it’s something you’ve been doing your entire life practically. You might be taken aback to learn that, most likely, you still aren’t doing everything you can to keep your dental health in tip-top shape. So what exactly could you be doing wrong when you’ve only been taught one way to brush your teeth?

Even though you are probably making mistakes, these mistakes are fixable, and you can start to change these before you begin to experience any oral health issues. Firstly, you should have an annual check-up with your dentist. This way, they can tell you what problems you have been having and which areas of your teeth you should focus on more. That is the perfect time to ask them any questions you may have to know how to best take care of your teeth. Your dentist will be able to spot any areas of your mouth or teeth that you might be unintentionally missing while brushing.

Book in with your dentist for an annual check-up to make sure you avoid problematic dental issues. Shutterstock.

Make The Dentist’s Job Easier

Our teeth are important. It is strongly recommended that you go to your dentists once a year for an annual cleaning. Dentists have a lot of work to do each year during your yearly check-up. However, there are also steps you can be taking at home to make their job easier and your mouth a much healthier place for your body. Because did you know that swollen gums, for example, could be a sign of heart disease? Oral hygiene protects the health of the rest of your body too. You might not even be fully aware that some of your health concerns throughout your body started in your mouth.

The first tip is all about your toothbrush. Think about this question: how long have you had your toothbrush? Experts say that you should be changing your toothbrush every three to four months for the best results. Using a toothbrush for too long becomes ineffective, as the bristles aren’t as stiff as they used to be and won’t clean your teeth as efficiently. Mark your calendar for changing your toothbrush every three to four months if you have a hard time remembering. Another critical thing to remember is if you are sick, you should always change your toothbrush. Sometimes, that is forgotten about, but the germs from your sickness are sticking to the bristles for your future use. Gross!

Replacing your toothbrush every few months is vital to help you maintain good oral hygiene. Shutterstock.

How Long Should You Use Your Toothbrush?

When the bristles on a toothbrush break and age, they are not going to clean your teeth as well as they were when you first started using it. This idea means that your bacteria in your mouth will linger as the toothbrush won’t clean it out. That increases the risk for gum disease, cavities, and gingivitis. Not only does it not remove the bacteria properly from your mouth, but bacteria and food build up on your toothbrush after using it for a long while. This adverse action then creates further issues for you and your teeth. If the bristles on your toothbrush are all splayed out, then it’s time to get a new one.

Studies have shown that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than a toothbrush that is worn out. That ensures that your brush is working its hardest to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Most of us know that our toothbrushes aren’t meant to last forever. However, it can be challenging to figure out when our beloved bristles are nearing the end of their natural lifespan. Although the recommended time frame is three to four months, there are always instances in which you should replace it sooner. If you don’t replace a toothbrush or electric toothbrush head when it needs to be, it can impact your dental health and spread infection.

Set a reminder on your cellphone to go off every few months to remind you to buy a new toothbrush. Shutterstock.

Set A Toothbrush Reminder

Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against the bacteria that can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. The straight bristles are the best to navigate the smaller spaces in your mouth. A soft bristle brush will effectively remove old food and bacteria that can collect around the bases of your teeth. It is crucial that you brush your teeth as recommended to ensure optimal health. Once the bristles in your toothbrush start to lose their stiffness, the toothbrush is always ready for the trash. Without the bristles in proper shape that brush aside the food and plaque, your toothbrush quickly loses its efficiency.

The moral of the story, you ideally need to be changing your toothbrush every three months to ensure that you are getting the most out of your toothbrush. Set a reminder on your phone so that you change this habit or put a mark on your calendar. So, now you’ve got a new toothbrush on your shopping list, but which toothbrush do you pick when you are at the store? There are generally more than a dozen options, so you need to know which one will give you the most bang for your buck. A great way to find out is to ask your dentist during your appointment to know ahead of time which one to buy.

You need to know what type of bristle you should be purchasing when buying a toothbrush. Shutterstock.

Is It Better to Have a Harder Bristle?

You may go for the harder toothbrush bristles because you’re under the impression that these will help clean your teeth better and remove the bacteria, but this isn’t always the case. They are not beneficial in your teeth brushing routine. Did you know that using hard and resistant bristles can eventually break down the structure of your teeth? This notion is because, over time, it will end up removing the all-important and protective coating of your tooth enamel. Bristles that are too hard will also wear down your gum line, exposing more of your teeth’ roots, leading to much pain.

Hard bristled toothbrushes can cause abrasion to the tooth’s surface. That includes the gradual wearing away of enamel. The second most common risk with hard bristled toothbrushes is the risk for irritation and damage to the gum tissue. They are more likely to harm the gums at the edge of the teeth. Their stiff texture can scratch and abrade the gum. As a result, the gums will become much more delicate and can even recede. Most dentists do not tend to recommend hard bristled toothbrushes for these reasons. You might even notice that the hard-bristled brushes are a little more challenging to find in the store.

Be careful with hard bristle toothbrushes as they may be breaking down your teeth as you brush. Shutterstock.

Ask Your Dentist For A Toothbrush Recommendation

All brushes are not made the same. Finding out what might be the best toothbrush for you can be a challenge. With many options and questions about an electric versus a manual, a hard-bristled versus a soft-bristled, you might wonder how you should choose the right one. Lower cost toothbrushes are often manufactured without their bristles rounded at the top. The flat-topped bristles gauge small crevices into teeth to allow the bacteria in your mouth to fester. Your tooth enamel is exceptionally precious, and you should at least be aware of your options and how each can impact your overall teeth health.

When your toothbrush bristles become old, you might end up with your teeth feeling quite sensitive. You’ll notice this mainly when you are drinking something extremely hot or icy. What other negative impacts can stiff bristles have in your mouth? Hard bristles also contribute to your gum line wearing down. When you visit your dentist, ask them to recommend which toothbrush type you should be using and listen to their advice. They’ll know the condition of your teeth and gums to advise you correctly. You should never take hygiene advice from anyone who is not qualified to provide it. That can lead to future concerns and health issues.

Be gentle with your teeth, treat them like you are at a massage, and relax. Shutterstock.

Your Teeth Are Sensitive

Another thing that shouldn’t be hard for dental health is the force you apply when brushing your teeth. Your teeth won’t come out cleaner because you brushed them harder. That isn’t helpful to your teeth. You could end up doing a lot more damage to your teeth than you realize. Dentists recommend that you use a gentle brushing technique to clean your teeth. You may think that brushing harder will allow you to get rid of more bacteria, but the harder you brush, the more damage you can cause to your mouth. One sign that you’re brushing too hard is bleeding gums.

The health of your teeth can impact the rest of your body. If you are like me, one of the most painful things is a toothache. If your mouth or tooth hurts, it can be challenging to eat, drink, and even talk. Overall, you are impacted in many ways. Brushing your teeth is a large contributor to managing healthy teeth and gum care. As previously mentioned, there is a common misconception that brushing with a harder bristled brush or even merely brushing with more force is better. However, it would help if you practiced extreme caution because brushing too hard will cause more damage than you intend.

Brushing your teeth harder isn’t going to do the job better; it’s terrible for your teeth. Shutterstock.

Be Gentle On Your Teeth

When you brush your teeth very hard, you don’t only impact your teeth by wearing them down; you could also unknowingly be causing additional damage to your gums from the extra pressure, which could cause your gums to recede. Receding gums can lead to tooth loss and sensitivity to temperatures. So, what type of pressure should you be applying when brushing your teeth? Think about it like a gentle and mild massage. You will want to be sure to brush your teeth calmly and lovingly to get the best results from brushing your teeth. They will love you for it.

There are a few tips and tricks to brush your teeth gently. Start by adding a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to your brush. You should then aim your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards your gum line. Using a gentle, circular motion brush over the front of your teeth. Then move to the inside of your teeth and repeat the same gentle, circular motion. For those top chewing surfaces, use a light back and forth motion. It is essential that you cover all areas and surfaces of your teeth. Food can become lodged in any of these tiny areas, and left uncleaned can cause future issues. Once you are done brushing, be sure to spit out the toothpaste.

Take it slow and set aside time for your teeth and your overall oral health to prevent future issues. Shutterstock.

Spend Enough Time Brushing Your Teeth

The next brushing habit you need to get into tonight is not brushing your teeth too quickly. Brushing our teeth is something that we need to take a moment out of our day to reap the rewards of a healthy mouth for years to come. After all, who wants to spend money on dentures? Don’t just set aside one minute in the morning and one minute before bed to brush your teeth – this is a big mistake. Did you know that on average, people only spend about 45 seconds brushing their teeth? This action isn’t enough time for it to be an active process. You need to spend a lot more time brushing your teeth.

It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for a solid two minutes each time. When you brush your teeth, you are helping to remove food and plaque. The plaque is a sticky white film that forms on your teeth and contains bacteria. Did you know that after you eat a meal or a snack that contains sugar, the bacteria in the plaque produce acids that attach to your tooth’s enamel? Eventually, the acid can break down your tooth’s enamel and cause cavities. Giving yourself at least two full minutes each time you brush your teeth will provide you with enough time to remove what is necessary.

Take your phone with you when you brush your teeth and set a two-minute timer on it. Shutterstock.

Make Sure To Brush For Two Minutes

Set a timer on your watch or your phone for two minutes. You need to brush your teeth for a full two minutes twice a day. This notion is because anything less than this won’t give your toothpaste enough time to do its job. The fluoride in the toothpaste won’t have enough time to be absorbed by your teeth. The fluoride from the toothpaste needs time to soak into your enamel. It isn’t going to be able to do this properly if you are just brushing for less than a minute and then rinsing out your mouth straight after this. Fluoride is what helps your teeth to remain healthy.

By brushing your teeth for two minutes, you ensure that you’re getting the bacteria off of every single side of your teeth. If you spend less than two minutes brushing, you won’t remove as much plaque from your teeth. However, if you feel like two minutes sounds much longer than what you have been doing, you are not alone. You might wonder if you can brush your teeth too much. If you brush your teeth three times a day or after each meal, it likely won’t damage your teeth. However, if you are brushing too hard or too soon after eating acidic foods, there is a chance you will cause some damage.

You shouldn’t rinse your mouth with water after brushing your teeth, which reduces the toothpaste’s effect. Shutterstock.

Should You Rinse Your Mouth With Water?

Furthermore, on that note: it is also wrong to be rinsing out your mouth after you’ve spent your two minutes brushing your teeth. We all tend to do this as this finishing up step after brushing our teeth – it’s more of an instinct for many of us. That is because it feels like a film is left on your teeth and tongue, and we want to get it off. Furthermore, you need to rinse it. The reason you shouldn’t be rinsing out your mouth after brushing your teeth is again that it takes away from the effectiveness of the fluoride in the toothpaste.

When you rinse your mouth out with water, it can no longer look after your teeth. That means you’re stripping the fluoride from your mouth, making your teeth less healthy than they could be. After brushing your teeth, you should be sure to spit out any excess toothpaste. Rinsing your mouth out with water will help wash away the concentrated fluoride in the remaining toothpaste by diluting it. As a result, the preventative effects of fluoride toothpaste are almost non-existent. Even though it may not be an appealing taste or feeling, you should avoid rinsing so that the toothpaste can work the way it is intended.

If you want to wash your mouth out after brushing, use a mouthwash with fluoride. Shutterstock.

Use Some Mouthwash Instead

Since this has become something ingrained in our teeth brushing routine, it may be hard to kick. Instead of rinsing your mouth out with water after brushing your teeth, buy a mouthwash that also has fluoride in it. It will enhance the properties given to your teeth by the toothpaste. You can rinse your mouth out with the mouthwash when you have finished the brushing process. This double kicker of fluoride will strengthen your teeth and leave you with healthy gums and fresh breath. It’s a win-win situation. Moreover, the extra shot of mouthwash will get rid of any lingering bacteria still in your mouth.

Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride will also help prevent tooth decay. However, be sure not to use a mouthwash, even a fluoride one, immediately after brushing your teeth. In the same way, the water will, the mouthwash will wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth. Instead of making it a part of your immediate routine, you should choose another time in your day to use mouthwash. That might be after you eat your lunch when you don’t have time to brush. Using mouthwash can be quicker and easier for you. However, be sure not to eat or drink for like 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.

Ensure you are brushing all the areas in your mouth, including your tongue and roof of your mouth. Shutterstock.

Focus When You Are Brushing Your Teeth

When you are brushing your teeth, please give it some thought and focus your attention on giving your teeth a complete clean. You need to think about all the areas you need to target with your brushing action. Don’t forget to pay particular attention to your back teeth since they’re the hardest to reach. These areas include making sure that you have covered the full surface area of your teeth. However, don’t forget your gums, tongue, and even the roof of your mouth. Take your toothbrush all the way down to your gum line to get the best clean possible. That’s where most of the food collects, and it can be an easy spot to miss.

Brushing your teeth every day is not just a way to keep your mouth feeling clean. It is a way to keep your whole body healthy too. When you brush correctly, you eliminate the plaque buildup and bacteria that often collects between your teeth and on your tongue. By focusing and adequately brushing your teeth each time, you are preventing gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, you are promoting a stronger immune system and a healthier lifestyle. You might even need to flip your toothbrush upside down to get the inside surface of your top front teeth. Be sure to take the time to get every little nook and cranny.

When you brush your teeth, start from your gums and work your way up and down your teeth in circular motions. Shutterstock.

Are You Brushing In The Right Direction?

You may also be brushing your teeth in the wrong direction. Don’t think of this action as a scrubbing session; remember that you should be gently massaging your teeth with the toothbrush. Don’t brush along your teeth from left to right. That only gets to the surface of your teeth and not in between them. You should be starting the brushing process from the gum and then going up and down in small, circular motions. If you are brushing your teeth in the other way, you can do quite a bit of damage to your teeth. You’re not getting your gum line and the spaces between your teeth if you brush horizontally.

Be sure to use only a small amount of toothpaste, roughly the size of a pea. By brushing at a 45-degree angle towards your gums, you are working to avoid any harsh brushing that can cause more damage than good. Make sure that your brushes are gentle and short circular strokes on your front teeth. Start by getting your teeth’ outside surfaces, including your back molars and the upper areas of your chewing surfaces. If necessary, flip the toothbrush upside down to get the inside of the tops and bottoms of your teeth. It is essential to cover the top, bottom, and sides of every tooth.

Don’t brush your teeth straight after you’ve eaten something because you’ll help the acid to corrode your teeth. Shutterstock.

Brushing Your Teeth Straight After Eating

Something else to consider with brushing your teeth is that you may be brushing your teeth too soon. This concept might sound very strange, but we often go straight to brush our teeth after a meal with a pungent taste. It helps us think that our mouths are cleaner if we don’t have the lingering taste of onion or garlic on our breaths. Of course, it’s good to brush your teeth, and cleaning them is better than not, but the point is that you might want to wait a little bit before you spend two minutes brushing your pearly whites. You are probably very curious about why this is, so keep reading!

Many people brush their teeth at the same time every day. Brushing every morning and again every night before bed seems to be the standard for most people. This simple schedule helps to build brushing into their routine. Some experts say that you should brush your teeth before eating breakfast due to its benefits for your tooth enamel and overall oral health. However, brushing your teeth right after eating might be particularly bad. You should wait between 30 minutes to an hour after you eat to brush your teeth. That is the best way to protect your teeth and not mess with your enamel.

By waiting for just 20 minutes, you’ll have given the saliva in your mouth time to get rid of the acid. Shutterstock.

Let Your Saliva Do Its Job

When you have acid in your mouth from the food you have just eaten, you shouldn’t just brush your teeth because it will help the acid from your meal start to erode your tooth. So, you need to just wait a bit before going in with a toothbrush. The ideal amount of time to wait is about 15 to 20 minutes. This time allows your saliva in your mouth to get to work on the acid in your mouth. All you should do before brushing your teeth is rinse it out with some water if you need to. That will help the saliva along so that you’re doing less damage to your teeth.

When you brush first thing in the morning, you also help to jump-start your saliva production. The saliva in your mouth helps your food break down and naturally kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating may cover your teeth with remnants of acidic foods, which in turn weakens your enamel. Saliva also helps prevent cavities from forming and helps aid in protecting against gum disease. It can also naturally help clean your teeth by washing away bits of food. It is imperative not to brush too soon after eating and let your saliva do its job!

Storing your wet toothbrush in a case is a bad idea as it can start to breed harmful bacteria. Shutterstock.

How To Store Your Toothbrush

Finally, after giving your teeth a proper two-minute timed brush, you now instinctively place your toothbrush back into a toothbrush container. You’re going to want to stop doing that right now. Why? Because that’s going to be bad for your teeth in the long run. Also, don’t forget to rinse out your toothbrush thoroughly. When you store your toothbrush in a covered container, it’s doing more harm than good. Because your toothbrush is damp, it can cultivate harmful bacteria when placed in the toothbrush container. Instead, leave your toothbrush in an upright position and let the air dry it out. Remember to shake your toothbrush off first to get rid of any excess water still on it.

Toothbrushes need to be maintained so they can remove plaque to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Toothbrush storage is vital for preserving cleanliness for your oral care. It would be best if you were sure to use a holder that is made for toothbrushes. You might be surprised to learn that some people have used random household items such as plastic bags or foil. You should also be sure to let your toothbrush dry completely. Air is essential for toothbrushes. It is okay to store them in cabinets or drawers as long as there is enough air to dry them after use.

You need to brush your teeth twice a day, but you also need to add flossing to your routine. Shutterstock.

To Floss Or Not To Floss

We know you are now aware of how to brush your teeth correctly, but unfortunately, a toothbrush can’t do all the work and get to all the hard-to-reach places in your mouth. That is why flossing every day is so crucial to your oral hygiene. In fact, not flossing every day is the number one reason people have teeth problems in the future. There are places in your mouth that your toothbrush can’t get into. These are the spots between your teeth. This area is where plaque tends to build up, and it will eventually turn into hard deposits called tartar if you aren’t cleaning it out each day.

Most people do not realize how important flossing is for maintaining healthy teeth, gums, and smiles. Not only does it help keep your teeth safe from cavities and your gums clear of gingivitis, but it also helps prevent many health conditions. When you forget to floss, you are leaving your mouth vulnerable to a variety of dental ailments. Flossing removes the plaque and tartar buildup between your teeth. If not removed, plaque bacteria can irritate your gum tissue and cause gingivitis. Plaque can also lead to the growth of harmful bacteria that produce acids that attack and destroy the enamel, which results in tooth decay and cavities. Long story short, you should not avoid flossing!

Flossing before you brush your teeth will make the brushing process more effective. Shutterstock.

When Should You Floss?

You don’t have to be told the importance of good dental hygiene. Taking care of your teeth helps prevent bad breath and helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and help to contribute to a healthy set of pearly white teeth. However, when it comes to brushing your teeth and flossing, you might not have given much thought to the proper order. Many people assume that as long as you are doing both consistently, you are good, right? However, that is not always the case. Something you might also be wondering about is when you should floss your teeth.

Good dental hygiene involves more than just brushing your teeth. Of course, brushing is an excellent way to clean your teeth and remove plaque. However, brushing by itself is not enough to keep your teeth healthy. From research, it has been found that flossing before you brush your teeth is the ideal sequence of events for your oral health. That can seem strange since everyone is used to flossing their teeth after they brush. A trial was conducted with 25 participants. In one test, they were asked to brush their teeth and then use the dental floss. In the second trial, they used the floss first and then brushed their teeth afterward. What were the results?

Flossing is vital to loosen the bacteria and food particles that get left behind in your teeth and gums. Shutterstock.

Why Flossing Is So Important

It was shown that the plaque found in between the participants’ teeth was significantly less when the participants first flossed their teeth and then brushed them. Researchers believe that the flossing helps to loosen the bacteria and debris found between the teeth, and then the bristles from the toothbrush removed them completely. It leads to a much healthier smile with fewer chances for plaque buildup. When you follow this cleaning process by brushing your teeth, your mouth is further cleaned of the bacteria. Dentists say that these processes go hand in hand, and you should not do one and not the other.

Flossing helps prevent gum disease, a mouth infection that destroys the soft tissue and bones that support your teeth. It occurs when there are too many bacteria on the surface of your teeth. It can occur as a result of poor dental hygiene, which includes not brushing or flossing correctly. Plaque is one of the primary causes of gum disease. That is why it is important to floss and brush your teeth each day. Plaque can harden on the teeth within 24 to 36 hours. If you floss and then brush regularly, the plaque has a smaller chance of hardening on your teeth.

When choosing your next toothbrush, you might consider going for an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one. Shutterstock.

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

Now that you know all about proper brushing etiquette, you might be wondering if you are better off investing in an electric toothbrush and ditching your old manual. It can save a lot of wrist and arm power by getting an electric toothbrush since the bristles are already moving for you. So is an electric toothbrush a better solution? What makes an electric toothbrush sound more appealing than regular toothbrushes is that they have many benefits. One of the best things about electric toothbrushes is that they offer a gentle and effective cleaning of your teeth. Because the heads are turning faster than you could do by hand, you’re getting a deeper clean.

Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that causes decay and disease. It means that they both have their own benefits. Many people might assume that manual toothbrushes are not as effective as electric toothbrushes. However, they can be just as effective as powered ones. The key to preventing tooth decay lies in the way the toothbrush, electric or manual, is used. If you are efficient at brushing your teeth and also at flossing, then manual toothbrushes are perfect. However, the powered devices can help those who have trouble physically moving their brushes around to clean all teeth surfaces.

You might want fancy sanitizing UV toothbrush holders, but you can take care of your toothbrush other ways, too. Trend Hunter

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush

We know that your toothbrush or the head of your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months. However, to make the most of your toothbrush, you should take care of it in the same way you would any other personal grooming or hygiene tool. That may be a prominent piece of advice, but do not share your toothbrush with anyone else, even members of your immediate family. Many people of the same household who share one bathroom might store their toothbrushes in the same holder. If your toothbrush is stored in a cup or container with other toothbrushes, make every effort not to let the heads touch each other.

Also, after brushing, be sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water. It is not necessary that you use a disinfectant, mouthwash, or hot water to sanitize it. You might be shocked to learn that trying to sanitize a toothbrush in this way can spread some germs. You also do not need any particular closed container to keep your toothbrush clean when it is not in use. Some of these sealed containers can encourage mold growth or spread bacteria, especially if your toothbrush is not completely dry after use. By taking proper care of your toothbrush, you are lengthening not only its useful life but also contributing to your overall oral health.

Make sure you get a new toothbrush regularly, no matter what kind you prefer. Northwest Family Dental

Changing Your Toothbrush is Essential

There are many reasons that you should change out your toothbrush. Whether you have a manual or an electric toothbrush, it will still need to be replaced and cared for regularly. In addition to changing them out every three to four months, there might be instances in which you will need to change them out sooner. If you or a family member have been sick, it is an excellent idea to replace not only your toothbrush but also the toothbrushes of everyone else in your household. Both viral and bacterial infections such as strep throat are even more alarming and are a great reason to switch out your old toothbrush for a new one.

You might also want to switch out your children’s’ toothbrushes more frequently than every three to four months. There is a possibility that children will either chew on or put their toothbrushes in places they don’t belong without even realizing they are transferring those germs into their maturing mouths. It is vital to closely watch your child when they are brushing their teeth to make sure they are not putting their brush head on any surface area besides their teeth. Lastly, if anyone else accidentally uses your toothbrush by mistake, you should still get rid of it. It is better to be safe than sorry as everyone’s mouth is home to different bacteria.

Electric toothbrushes have built-in timers so that you are brushing your teeth for the correct amount of time. Shutterstock.

Electric Toothbrushes Have Useful Technology

There are many benefits to electric toothbrushes. You’ll be able to remove more plaque from your teeth because they are less abrasive. Some electric toothbrushes also have a built-in timer to ensure that you are cleaning your teeth for the right amount of time and stopping automatically. The other bonus is that the toothbrush rotates on its own, making cleaning your teeth a lot easier than having to try and twist your arm to get it to a specific position in your mouth. It also can be beneficial for people with conditions like arthritis who can’t move as well as they used to.

In general, the electric toothbrush bristles vibrate to help remove the plaque buildup from your teeth and gums. The vibration allows for more micro-movements every single time you move your toothbrush across your teeth. A few studies have shown that electric toothbrushes do decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. After three months of use, the studies revealed that plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. The rotating toothbrushes seem to work even better than just the vibrating ones. There are many other benefits or appealing factors to using an electric toothbrush compared to a manual one.

An electric toothbrush will set you back more than a manual toothbrush would in terms of finances. Shutterstock.

Electric Toothbrushes Require Maintenance And Care

There are also a few disadvantages to consider when thinking about purchasing an electric toothbrush. Of course, an electric toothbrush is going to cost more than a regular one. They require maintenance and cleaning too, so you should take those expenses into account as well. This idea includes buying new heads for the toothbrush every three months, just like a regular toothbrush. It can all add up to be quite a bit, so you need to decide if this is something that you can budget for. However, can you put a price on the health of your teeth? An electric toothbrush may be more expensive, but if they clean your teeth more effectively, it’s probably worth it.

Since one of the primary purposes of a toothbrush is to remove bacteria from your mouth, it is vital to keep your toothbrush sanitary and free of bacteria. It would be best if you rinsed your electric toothbrush every single day after use to remove toothpaste and debris. It is also imperative not to over-brush with your electric toothbrush. If you put too much pressure on your toothbrush, you can cause the bristles to wear out more quickly and be less effective when cleaning. There are certain brands and electric toothbrushes that can help prevent over brushing with a sensor. It will turn red to signal you are brushing too hard and green when you are brushing just right.

Ensure that you read the electric toothbrush manual and charge it correctly, and don’t drop it. Shutterstock.

Looking After Your Electric Toothbrush

You’ll also need to make sure that you are looking after your new device correctly not to damage it. That means that when you are charging it, you must ensure that you do not overcharge it, as this can cause issues with the device. Also, be sure to store your electric toothbrush in an upright position to let it air-dry. It also includes setting it away from water to prevent an electric shock from occurring. You should also avoid dropping your electric toothbrush because this will most likely lead to it malfunctioning, and then your money will all be wasted.

Damaging the toothbrush could lead to it not charging anymore, and then you’ll have to go back to brushing by hand. Many companies recommend that when using the product for the first time that you should fully charge the battery before using it. Sometimes that can take up to 16 hours. Once it’s fully charged, you should use it until there is no charge left. Then, fully charge it again instead of charging between each use. That will help your toothbrush’s battery last longer and perform at its best. Apart from that, an electric toothbrush is a good idea, but also make sure to check with your dentist.

Electric toothbrushes can be an excellent investment for your child if they are resistant to brushing their teeth. Shutterstock.

Making Teeth Brushing Fun

Learning and incorporating good oral hygiene should begin at a young age. Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease of childhood. In fact, one in five children will develop a hole by the time they enter kindergarten. It is important to try and instill good oral hygiene habits from the start. That will encourage kids to take pride in their oral care and help prevent further oral or other health issues. If you are struggling to get your child to practice good oral hygiene, an electric toothbrush might help. Many kid-friendly electric toothbrushes are available.

Though an electric toothbrush isn’t guaranteed to eliminate dental issues, some dentists suggest it can make it easier for some kids to achieve good brushing habits. Firstly, they are a lot easier to use as children who are not as coordinated as adults are. Brushing teeth can also be something of a chore for them that they don’t find fun. Some of the children’s electric toothbrushes are also a lot more fun for them to use, making this an excellent incentive to brush your teeth. They come in all different themes and can even play music to help kids brush for the right amount of time.

It’s a personal choice when it comes to manual versus electric toothbrush; what matters is your technique. Shutterstock.

It’s All In The Technique

Choosing between the traditional toothbrush and the electric toothbrush is up to you at the end of the day. Everyone has their preference and reasons for wanting to use one or the other. What matters is how you brush your teeth with the device and that you’re doing it correctly. Why? Because it doesn’t matter which device you’re using if your technique is all wrong. Even if you end up buying the fanciest electric toothbrush, you may be misusing it, and therefore it won’t make much of a difference. That is why you need to ensure that you get into the best habits possible for your teeth. Starting early will develop better brushing habits that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Both electric and manual toothbrushes effectively clean your teeth if you use proper technique and brush long enough. Whether you are using an electric or a manual toothbrush, you should still brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes. Brushing is only part of a complete dental care routine. You should also be sure to clean between teeth daily. Besides, you should be mindful of consuming a balanced diet that involves limiting sugary beverages and snacks. Even though some of us avoid the dreaded dentist visits, it’s essential to see your dentist for prevention and any necessary treatment regularly.

If you struggle with flossing, you should consider giving a water flosser a try. Shutterstock.

Is A Water Flosser Worth It?

You might also have heard of the Waterpik, which is a type of water flosser. Flossing is quite a process, and you might be looking for a way to make this part of your oral hygiene routine a little easier and quicker. It’s beneficial for those who have trouble working the floss between their teeth. If you are struggling to floss regularly, this is an excellent option for you. That doesn’t replace your toothbrush, though; you will still need to make sure that you are brushing your teeth twice a day as per usual. A water flosser only helps; it doesn’t clean your teeth entirely.

Water flossers are an oral health appliance that uses a jet of water to help you remove plaque, food, bacteria, and any other debris between your teeth and below the gum line. Did you know that people who do not floss their teeth miss more than one-third of each tooth’s surface area? As time passes and the plaque builds up, it can become even more difficult for your dentist to remove it and the tartar buildup at their office. Water flossers are a great alternative to traditional flossing. Traditional dental floss can be harder for some and, if not done carefully, can easily irritate your gums.

Using a water flosser takes some getting used to, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it. Shutterstock.

How To Use A Water Flosser

You will need to fill the water flosser with lukewarm water and then bring the flosser tip up to your mouth. Make sure that you are doing this in the bathroom and over a sink. That way, you don’t end up making too much of a mess. A water flosser causes much splashing, and that can make a big mess if you’re not prepared for it. You’ll then turn it on and start to clean your teeth by holding the water flosser’s handle at a 90-degree angle to your teeth. You should start this process at the back of your mouth and then work your way around the space.

Work at the front of your teeth and then the backsides. It will ensure you’re getting all of the particulates out from between your teeth. Give your back teeth some extra special attention too. One tip to using a water flosser is to start with the lowest pressure setting to avoid irritating or harming your teeth and gums. To avoid some of the water splashing mess, be sure to lean over the sink and close your lips enough to prevent over-splashing. You can let the water slowly flow from your mouth into the sink. Aim the tip of the water flosser towards the gum line to target any debris that is stuck.

You only need four minutes out of your day to take care of your teeth properly – make this time. Shutterstock.

Four Minutes To Clean Your Mouth Properly

In total, you’ll end up using about two minutes to clean your mouth with the water flosser. That makes your entire mouth cleaning process four minutes. It is such a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things that it will make your mouth so much healthier. The water flosser helps remove the food stuck between your teeth and the bacteria in the same way as traditional flossing. Water flossing is also beneficial to those who suffer from gum disease as well as bleeding. Just remember to use lukewarm water; using cold is not suitable for those who have sensitive teeth.

Flossing your teeth is an integral part of oral hygiene. With a water flosser, you can easily clean your teeth without making too big of a mess. Besides, you might avoid hurting your teeth or gums by limiting the amount of irritation. If you feel like a traditional floss is hard for you to manage, you might want to consider giving a water flosser a try. Water flossers can also be ideal for those with braces or Invisalign, where traditional floss can be difficult. The jet stream from a water flosser can efficiently clean your teeth behind the wires and further flush out any of the particles between the teeth without a problem.

People have varying opinions about whether a water flosser is better than traditional floss – again, it’s up to you. Shutterstock.

Traditional Floss Versus Water Flossers

Like a manual toothbrush versus an electric toothbrush, you wonder which one is the better option. The truth is, unfortunately, that there are some differing opinions. Some believe that a water flosser helps get rid of the plaque in your mouth more effectively. Others say that they don’t remove the plaque from your mouth and traditional floss because you can’t control where the water goes. The conventional floss lets you scrape your teeth up and down on the sides, and a water flosser should do the same if you use it correctly, so there is no difference. It’s all a matter of preference.

Water flossers tend to be less abrasive and more gentle in comparison to traditional floss. They are less likely to irritate your gums while also getting that stuck-in debris out. Dentists have also recommended water flossers to those who have experienced gum disease in the past. Unlike a traditional floss, the water flosser can clean your teeth deeply by penetrating the periodontal pockets and removing the plaque between the teeth. However, don’t be so quick to throw away your traditional floss just to try something new. Water flossers are more expensive, although some can consider it an investment.

Invest the time into your oral health, and you will get into the natural habit of it in just two months. Shutterstock.

It Takes Two Months To Make A Habit

Neither of these techniques is easy to begin with, but once you get into the good habit of doing either of them, you will notice a difference in your gum and mouth health. Set aside time in the morning and at night to prioritize your mouth because your teeth deserve it. In general, the rule for making a new habit is that it takes about two months. Just including one new positive practice in your tooth brushing regime each week will help you as time goes by. And by the end of the year, you should have your dental hygiene routine down pat.

It can be difficult to add a new habit into your daily routine. It might seem like a nuisance at first, or you might feel that the effort is not yielding the benefits you are hoping for. However, it is vital to keep in mind that if you have been avoiding flossing or brushing correctly for a long time, you might need to allow a reasonable amount of time to see a change in the opposite direction. It is not going to happen overnight. However, similar to any new habit or routine, you have to be consistent and committed to seeing results. After two months, it will become second nature to you, and you won’t even think of it as a chore.

There are different types of mouthwashes available based on age and need. Manus Dental

Picking The Right Mouthwash

A solid oral health routine begins with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Without a consistent oral health regimen, you may start to experience tooth decay and bacterial infections. Be careful of the kind of mouthwashes you’re buying. They’re not all made the same, and some aren’t made to clean the bacteria out of your mouth. Cosmetic rinses are only designed to make your breath smell nice, but they do nothing to clean your mouth. So although your breath smells nice, your teeth are still suffering. Therapeutic rinses, on the other hand, have antimicrobial agents and fluoride that make your mouth clean and strengthen your teeth. These are the ones you should be buying and using at home before going to bed.

Antiseptic mouthwashes work to reduce large amounts of bacteria on and near the gum line and generally help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. That might be the preferable option if you are concerned about the general gum health of your mouth. Fluoride is also an excellent tool for preventative tooth decay treatment. It helps to prevent tooth decay and is great for oral health in general because it kills the germs that can live in your mouth. At the same time, fluoride helps to build stronger teeth. Be sure to read the labels and ingredients to know which is which. Alternatively, ask your dentist to recommend any specific brands to you.

Don’t let a white smile fool you — oral hygiene is still important every single day. SciTechDaily

Relying on Whitening Products For a Perfect Smile

There’s something to be said about dazzling white teeth. They might look nice, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Your teeth might be stained or discolored for a variety of reasons. Almost everyone has started using more bleaching products on their teeth to get those glistening smiles, such as whitening toothpaste and brightening strips. However, if not used carefully, they can be doing more harm than good. The overuse of these products can wear down your teeth and make them more sensitive over time. Some of the whitening kinds of toothpaste are even too abrasive to use on your teeth, wearing down the enamel.

Some many products and methods are available to whiten teeth. Some can be extremely harmful, but others that, if used properly, would be considered safe. There are three general categories of whitening methods that include those administered by your dentist, dispensed by your dentist to use at home, and those obtained over the counter without dentist oversight. You can choose a variety of methods based on several factors. These can include the type of discoloration you have, the treatment cost, the treatment method, and your dental history. Discuss your options with your dentist and ensure that you’re following the directions carefully so that you’re not damaging your teeth further.

A white smile doesn’t always mean healthy teeth. Let your dentist help you whiten your teeth professionally. Gulch Dental

Professional Whitening Options

Teeth whitening has become incredibly popular. Many people want that shiny, bright white smile and may be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. However, it’s important to be careful as not all teeth whitening options have your oral health’s best interest in mind. Your dentist can use several methods to whiten your teeth in the office or at home. Generally, the methods involve bleaching your teeth with carbamide peroxide. This method works to break down the hydrogen peroxide and urea to target the tooth’s color in a chemical reaction. That has often been considered a safe way to whiten your teeth.

You should always consult with your dentist on the best method for you individually. They might recommend an in-office whitening treatment option. This method can be beneficial because it works extremely quickly. The whitening effect might also last longer than other methods. You might often only need an hour of treatment or a few visits to achieve your desired results. That is due to the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the applied products being greater than the products you use at home. Your dentist might use the application of light when applying the whitening product to your teeth to speed up the process.

There are different at-home remedies for oral hygiene, like charcoal toothpaste, but be cautious. Facebook

Trying At-Home Whitening Treatments

Your dentist might also recommend teeth whitening treatments at home. For instance, your dentist might be able to make custom-fit trays that fit into your mouth. When you get home, you will add some gel to it and then wear the trays for 30 minutes to an hour, as your dentist recommends. Often the process can take a few weeks to whiten your teeth. The at-home treatment option provided through your dentist might take longer than the one completed in the office, but it might also be more cost-effective, depending on your budget. Your dentist will be the best person to provide you advice on which treatment is best for you.

I’m sure you have also heard of over-the-counter whitening products to help with stained teeth. Unlike the items that a professional dentist administers, these products do not generally contain carbamide peroxide. If they do, they will have much less of it in comparison to what the dentists use. If your teeth are reasonably discolored, the over-the-counter teeth whiteners may not work as effectively, or they may take a lot longer to whiten your teeth. Some over-the-counter products have a seal of acceptance, whereas others do not. The seal is meant to provide consumers more confidence. Even if you choose to purchase over-the-counter teeth whiteners, you should still consult with your doctor.

Make sure you talk with your doctor about teeth whitening products. Spartan Guards

Using Whitening Products — Take Caution!

With any product, there are side effects to teeth whiteners. While teeth whitening is generally considered safe, some people experience some side effects from these treatments. One of the most commonly discussed side effects includes teeth sensitivity. Your teeth may become more sensitive following your teeth whitening experience. Some individuals experience this on the first or second treatment, and then it fades away over time. However, others continue to experience it throughout and might need to discontinue the product’s use. Your dentist might be able to offer product recommendations to treat sensitivity. These products might contain potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride gel.

Another popular side effect of using teeth whitening products includes irritated gums or gingival irritation. That can occur as a result of the contact on your gums with the whitening product. In the majority of cases, this side effect should go away after you complete your treatments. You should also keep in mind that you cannot whiten your teeth permanently. Whitening treatments should only be used every so often. These products are also created for your natural teeth. If you have implants, crowns, bridges, or dentures, you should consult with your doctor to make a unified color.

You have to brush your teeth correctly with the right kind of toothpaste. Wikipedia

Picking the Right Toothpaste

Contrary to what you might think, not all toothpaste is the same. Toothpaste is available in many different varieties, and each has its own unique uses and ingredients. For starters, there is children’s toothpaste, which is specifically tailored to their growing teeth. This type of toothpaste generally contains less fluoride than the toothpaste that is designed for adults. There are some health risks if children ingest too much fluoride, so their toothpaste has a minimal amount to avoid those unintentional consumptions. Also, children’s toothpaste contains fewer abrasives as children’s teeth are much more sensitive than adults. It is also often made with more appealing flavors such as bubblegum.

Switching gears a little, did you know there was such a thing as a smoker’s toothpaste? If you are like me, you might not have ever heard of this specific type of toothpaste. However, this type of toothpaste is specifically formulated for those who smoke tobacco. Smokers often find their teeth become stained due to the tobacco smoke being drawn in their mouths. As time passes on, the tar causes teeth to become covered with yellowish-brown patches. Smokers toothpaste tends to contain cleansing agents designed to make teeth look whiter and combat the staining agents caused by smoking.

There is a plethora of toothpaste types to choose from in the store. Shutterstock

Searching for Specific Types of Toothpaste for Your Oral Needs

If you are not a smoker, you might wonder what other toothpaste options are available to you. Even if you are not a smoker, many people are often still susceptible to dental stains that come about in various ways. For instance, maybe you have dental stains or discoloration due to consuming certain beverages, including coffee, tea, or pop. However, you shouldn’t have any worries because there is teeth-whitening toothpaste that might assist! The teeth-whitening kinds of toothpaste contain cleansers and abrasives that will remove or at least lessen those stains’ appearance.

There are also tubes of toothpaste explicitly designed for sensitive teeth. These kinds of toothpaste contain potassium nitrate, a substance that can help reduce the painful sensations associated with sensitivity to hot or cold substances. You might even consider herbal toothpaste, which is popular for people who have a sensitivity to the ingredients in regular toothpaste or who just want a more natural cleaning alternative. Be sure to read through the list of ingredients. Also, consult your doctor as some of these alternatives do not contain any fluoride. Generally, dentists recommend a toothpaste containing fluoride because this ingredient works to protect enamel and strengthen teeth.

Did you know that poor oral hygiene can cause other problems such as arthritis and strokes? Shutterstock.

Oral Hygiene Is Important For Your Overall Health

Oral hygiene isn’t just about making sure that your teeth are well looked after and cavity-free. It has a significant role in your overall health. When an infection starts in your mouth, it can eventually lead to other health concerns that affect the rest of your body. These include asthma, arthritis, strokes, and even respiratory problems. Keeping your mouth clean is simple with these habits, and it will save you from having to deal with many other health problems as well. That’s a lot of money saved on medical bills you wouldn’t have had to pay if you’d taken care of your teeth properly.

Similar to other areas of your body, your mouth is full of bacteria. Although most of it is harmless, it is crucial to understand that your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts. Even though the majority of the bacteria are benign, some of them can cause diseases. The body’s natural defenses coupled with good oral health care helps to keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, this bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections. To protect your oral health, be sure to brush at least twice daily for a minimum of two minutes. Be sure to incorporate flossing into your routine and use mouthwash too.

Book an annual visit with your dentist to ensure that you are looking after your teeth properly. Shutterstock.

Making Your Annual Appointment

When you start to look after your teeth by brushing them properly as well as flossing, they will be in a far better condition when you go for your annual dentist visits. This idea means that you will have a lot less dental work in the future, which can be quite expensive. Speak to your dentist about how often you should be going in for appointments depending on your mouth’s condition; ensure that you start to implement these good habits into your oral hygiene routine every day. By doing them, you’ll give your dentist less time in your mouth, rooting around for problems.

Regular dental visits are essential because they help to keep both your teeth and gums healthy. Generally, there are two parts to a regular dental visit that includes the check-up and the cleaning. During the check-up, your dentist will check your overall oral health for any trouble areas. They can then provide you guidance and advice on how to target or care to prevent further issues. During the cleaning, the dentist will work to remove any plaque and tartar buildup. They might even include a teeth polish at this time. You should be sure to schedule your regular dental visit as recommended by your dentist.

You can make sure your teeth as well as your kids’ teeth are clean between appointments thanks to these helpful oral hygiene tips. Healthline

Keeping Your Teeth Clean Between Appointments

Even though it is crucial that you schedule and attend your annual dental visits, there are still many habits that you should perform between your visits. The first is one that we have talked about over and over – brushing your teeth twice daily. That is essential for plaque removal between your dental visits. As you brush your teeth, it is critical to make sure the gentle bristles meet the gums at the edge of the tooth, as that is where the majority of the plaque builds up. You want to brush regularly to avoid allowing the plaque to build up and harden on your teeth.

However, brushing does not always reach the plaque that collects between your teeth. Only flossing can remove that hidden plaque. You have to commit to flossing every single day if you genuinely want to keep your teeth as clean as possible. You should consult with your dentist to see if investing in a water flosser would be an excellent option for you. Lastly, it would help if you used a recommended mouthwash. They serve a variety of important purposes in your oral hygiene routine. Some fight the bacteria that cause plaque. Others work to strengthen your enamel to resist cavities. There are even mouthwashes that help to assist people trying to manage a dry mouth. Talk to your dentist about the best routine between your visits.

Sources: 

https://canyondentalcare.dentalworks.com/blog/toothbrushing-mistakes-to-avoid

https://www.perio.org/consumer/brush-or-floss-first

https://kirklandteeth.com/general-dentistry/pros-cons-electric-toothbrushes/

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/brushing-teeth-mistakes#4

https://www.chartercollege.edu/news-hub/3-reasons-good-dental-hygiene-so-important

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