Thursday, 4 April 2013

Are you brushing your teeth right?

Tooth brushing is a habit few people think twice about. However, if you get sloppy with it, you may end up developing gum diseases and cavities. Proper tooth brushing takes minimum of two minutes. Moreover, to properly brush the teeth, make use of gentle, short strokes, paying attention to the areas around crowns, and gum line. Here are a few mistakes people make when brushing:

Mistake 1: Wrong brush:
It is important to pick a toothbrush that matches the size of your mouth. If you’re struggling to open your mouth wide to let the device in then probably your brush is too big. The handle must also be comfortable so that you can use it properly and for the required duration of time.

Mistake 2: The Bristles:
Some toothbrushes come with straight bristles while others have angled bristles. Both types are fine but what’s important to consider is avoiding stiff bristles that tend to aggravate the gums. Basically, the brush must be sturdy enough to get rid of the plaque but not inflexible to damage the mouth when used properly. It is also good to avoid "natural" bristles such as the ones made out of animal hair.

Mistake 3: Duration of Brushing:
When people don’t brush for longer durations of time, bacterial plaque tends to build up, increasing the risk of inflammation and other related problems. Brushing must last for at least two minutes and must be performed two to three times a day.

The best technique to use while brushing is to divide the mouth into several quadrants and spending thirty seconds on every quadrant.

Mistake 4: Brushing too hard:
It is ideal to brush the teeth at least thrice a day. Excessive brushing can expose the tooth root irritation, and that can end up irritating the gums. Brushing forcefully can also wear away tooth enamel. The best technique is to brush gently for a couple of minutes.

When should you brush your teeth?
Brushing your teeth in the morning before breakfast and at night before going to bed is recommended. Never brush right after a meal as it can damage the teeth, particularly if you've consumed citric fruits, wine, fizzy drinks, or foods that contain acid.

The fact is that acid softens tooth enamel and can be abraded by brushing. Instead, make sure you stay without brushing so that the acid is naturally neutralized inside the mouth.

What Toothpaste to Use:
Toothpaste comprises of certain cleaning agents that help in removing plaque from the teeth, keeping them healthy and clean. A lot of toothpastes also comprise of fluoride that assists in preventing and controlling cavities. It’s extremely important to make use of pastes that have the right quantity of fluoride. Go through the packaging to find out the amount of fluoride every brand contains.
  • For infants till the age of three: make use of toothpaste containing at least 1,000ppm fluoride.
  • For children up to the age of three to six: make use of toothpaste comprising 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride.
  • For adults: make use of toothpaste that has at least 1,450ppm fluoride.
It is also good to use a mouthwash that can really help in preventing tooth decay and assist in getting rid of any bacteria or food that might have been missed by the brush. However, never use mouthwash right after brushing the teeth. Choose some other time, like after lunch. And never drink or eat for half an hour after using a mouthwash.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are a bunch of common mistakes that several people make night and day that can injure teeth and turn a good smile upside-down. It’s important to break bad habits and its best to start by brushing right.

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