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We all think brushing is the best favour we could do to our teeth and mouth, right? No! Incorrectly done, brushing can do more damage than good. It is always advisable to check with your dentist if you are brushing the right way. In fact, a lot of periodontal diseases and issues like abrasion are due to improper brushing techniques.
Let us look at some common issues related to brushing both good and bad.
- Tooth brush: Pick the right one. Firstly, the length, you should be able to reach all parts of the mouth, especially the last tooth, without having to open the mouth wide. Softer bristles are always preferred.
- Duration: If you brush 2 to 3 times daily, each brushing should not last more than 2 minutes. Divide the mouth into 4 quadrants upper right and left, lower right and left – and spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. Longer hours of brushing can lead to wearing of the enamel.
- Technique: A forceful front-and-back motion can cause a V-shaped notch at the gum line, leading to a condition called abrasion. The ideal way to brush is to begin at the gumline and go about in circular motions. Ensure all surfaces, outer and inner, of all teeth are covered.
- Force of brushing: The idea of brushing is to remove the soft deposits of plaque, which comes off very easily with brushing. Do not exert a lot of pressure in an attempt to remove plaque. The hardened tartar or stain can anyways not be removed with brushing and will need to be removed by the dentist.
- Habit: Most of us are habituated to begin at the same place and go about the same routine to finish brushing. Dentists advise that it is good to begin at different places each time. As you near the end of your brushing time, you are usually tired and just want to get done with it. Changing the start and end points gives all the teeth a fair chance of getting cleaned.
- Storing: Do not store your toothbrush in the toilet area and with a whole lot of brushes. Both contain enough bacteria, and your brush can do without it.
- Timing: If you have had acidic food, wait for about half an hour before you brush. The acidic environment softens the tooth and brushing it immediately can lead to easier wearing of the enamel.
- Changing brush: Any time the bristles lose their flexibility, it is time to change, usually about 3 months.
Never thought there are so many things to do and avoid with brushing? You are not alone, hopefully you can plan your brushing better the next time onwards. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.