Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Their Teeth

Tips for Managing Dental Problems at Home

Most people think that as long as they are brushing their teeth twice a day, they are keeping them clean. But there are several mistakes that can be made when brushing teeth:

Not brushing for long enough

This is a really common mistake. The average person only brushes for 45 seconds, when actually to properly clean all your teeth it should be 2 minutes twice a day. It can help if you set a timer. Most electric toothbrushes now come with an inbuilt timer. It will usually vibrate after 30 seconds to allow you to divide your mouth into four quadrants: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right.

If you don’t have an electric toothbrush you can set a timer on your watch/phone and for children, there are several apps that play music for the 2 minutes or you could use a sand timer like in the photo below. One example of an app you could use is: www.brushdj.com

worn toothbrushes

Using the wrong toothpaste

It is really important to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is very effective in preventing tooth decay. It helps your oral health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay and reducing the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth produce.

Check that your toothpaste contains enough fluoride. For adults this should be 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.

worn toothbrushes

Rinsing after brushing

Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing teeth washes away the protective fluoride left behind by brushing. Instead you will hear us recommend ‘spit don’t rinse’

worn toothbrushes

Using an old toothbrush

We recommend that you replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head (if electric) every 3 months. Overtime the bristles wear down and weaken meaning they are not as effective at cleaning your teeth.

worn toothbrushes

Don’t brush too hard

Brushing too hard can actually wear down your tooth enamel and push back the gums, causing gum recession over time. You only need to apply enough pressure to feel the bristles against your teeth. If the bristles appear squashed, then you are brushing too hard. Some electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors and will let you know if you are brushing too hard.

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