Family Cleaning Teeth

7 Mistakes You Might Be Making While Cleaning Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, may not be the answer to all of your dental hygiene worries or problems. There are a lot of things you could actually be doing wrong when brushing your teeth. From not flossing your teeth at all to forgetting about brushing your tongue and cheeks, these mistakes may be costing your oral health. 

Common errors

For you to perfect your teeth brushing method, we’ve found some of the most common brushing mistakes you may be making, and how you can solve them. 

You’re brushing your teeth too hard

Without the correct brushing method implemented into your dental hygiene routine, you could be making many mistakes. The easiest mistake to make is brushing too hard. This can cause excess wear to your teeth and the long term effects are worse – brushing too hard can even cause receding gums. 

The correct way to brush your teeth is to split your mouth up into quarters and spend thirty seconds brushing each quarter. This way no area of your mouth will get missed. You should be using a circular motion and making sure that you’re brushing all areas of your teeth, including the back.

If you are worried about the amount of pressure you’re putting on your teeth when you brush, a lot of modern electric toothbrushes have a built-in pressure sensor that will flash when you’re brushing too hard. 

You’re not brushing for long enough

This is one of the most obvious mistakes to make. Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, once in the morning and once at night is essential to keeping your oral hygiene in check. If you’re struggling with brushing your teeth for the full two minutes, then set a timer or put a two-minute song on, so you know how long you’ve already brushed for, and how long you’ve got left.

You might forget about brushing your tongue and cheeks

Good oral health doesn’t just come from your teeth and gums, it also comes from other parts of your mouth, like your tongue and cheeks. Brushing your tongue will not only prevent any bad breath (halitosis) from occurring, but it will also prevent any problems in the oral cavity, like tooth decay. Your tongue is really easy to clean too. Just like you would your teeth, use toothpaste and firm pressure in a back and forth motion to clean your tongue and cheeks. 

Make sure that you’re rinsing your mouth after brushing

After brushing your teeth for the full two minutes, your mouth will probably be full of foamy toothpaste. To get rid of this, most people will rinse their mouths out with water afterwards. This is a good habit to have in place as spitting out the remnants of your toothpaste will stop you from swallowing it and giving you an upset stomach. By rinsing your mouth with water after brushing, you’re removing any food or bacteria which could still be stuck in or between your teeth. 

Woman Brushing Teeth

Don’t replace your toothpaste with mouthwash

We all have busy lives nowadays, however, don’t substitute toothbrushing for a swill of mouthwash. Say you’re on holiday and you’ve forgotten your toothpaste, you could replace toothpaste with mouthwash temporarily as it is the next closest thing. But, this shouldn’t be a long term habit.

Instead, mouthwash should be used around thirty minutes after brushing your teeth to remove any leftover food debris or plaque that your toothbrush or floss didn’t get rid of. 

Are you using the right products for you?

Using the right products for your mouth is really important. As everyone is different, no one toothpaste is better than any of the others. The best toothpaste to use is one which contains the key ingredient of fluoride. A toothpaste that has fluoride in it will protect your teeth from tooth decay and make them appear brighter when you smile. 

Another key brushing essential is selecting the right toothbrush for you. If you have limited movement, it might be a good idea to opt for an electric toothbrush as this type of brush will typically do the work for you. 

You may not be flossing properly

Flossing should be one of the steps you take in your dental hygiene routine. Ideally, you should floss once a day and make sure that the floss goes in between each one of your teeth, rather than just between the teeth you can easily access. Flossing gets rid of any food that could be stuck between your teeth, and it also helps to remove plaque. Also, remember to floss the part of the tooth where it meets your gums as this is an area we often forget to clean. 

What are the consequences of making these mistakes?

The health of your teeth, tongue and gums can affect the overall health of your body, so it is important to take good care of them. Gum disease is one of the most obvious effects of bad dental hygiene as plaque can build up along the gumline and then bacteria can enter your mouth. This can lead to one of the more serious forms of gum disease, known as periodontal disease. It also goes without saying that poor dental health can also cause halitosis, which can be unpleasant to deal with. 

There are other problems that are associated with not keeping on top of your dental health, and they include; diabetes, respiratory issues and heart disease. Although we don’t want to scare you, if there is anything serious you think needs sorting, book an appointment with your local dentist and they will be able to help or put your mind at rest. 

The best way to keep all diseases and infections at bay is to keep up a good dental hygiene routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are making any of the mistakes listed above, it’s best to correct them now before long term problems start to arise.