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7 common mistakes that people make when cleaning their teeth

We all know how important it is to keep your teeth clean, but did you know there are 7 common mistakes that people often make while cleaning their teeth. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what these are and how you can avoid them to help keep your teeth clean and improve your dental hygiene.

1. Not brushing long enough

Hands up those that brush their teeth for 2 minutes regimentally, twice a day. The majority of the population brush their teeth for just 25 to 35 seconds which is much lower than the recommended daily guidelines. Two-minutes is a lot longer than it seems and the best way to manage your brush time is with a timer or toothbrush with built-in timer function.
Many people with electric toothbrushes assume that when the toothbrush buzzes that they should stop brushing. But most toothbrushes are set to buzz after 30 seconds to tell you to move to the next area of your mouth which should be split into four sections – top right, top left, bottom left, bottom right. Sticking to this routine and spending 30 seconds brushing each section will help you create a good dental health routine.

2. Brushing at the wrong time

Brushing your teeth twice is instilled in most people from a young age but when should we be brushing our teeth? In the evening just before going to bed makes sense but you should be careful to avoid brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of drinking fruit juices, alcohol or eating anything sweet or acidic. This will give your protective layer of saliva time to recover and ensure any acid has been washed away in your mouth.
The same goes for brushing in the morning or after meals, if you have eaten or frunk anything acidic then it is best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Night-time teeth cleaning is the most important as this will help to remove any food deposits that have built up during the day as well as removing bacteria from your mouth.

3. Rinsing your mouth after brushing

Do you rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash? Well, rinsing will wash away the protective fluoride in your toothpaste or mouthwash meaning your teeth are left unprotected. Stick to the motto of “spit not rinse” and you will start building a routine that will lead to better dental health.

4. Brushing too hard

Is bad technique causing your mouth more harm than good? Brushing at a slight angle rather than square to your teeth and focus on each tooth individually is the correct technique when it comes to brushing. Some electric toothbrushes have a built-in sensor to tell you if you are brushing too hard and can even help you improve your technique.

5. Not flossing

Interdental brushes and flossing should be part of everyone’s dental health care regime as they provide a great way to remove stubborn food and the build-up of plaque and bacteria from the spaces between teeth. Using both floss and interdental brushes will ensure that the sides of your teeth are properly cleaned, and it will help prevent cavities and gum disease.

6. Using an old toothbrush

Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3 months? As the bristles wear down, they become a lot less effective at cleaning your teeth which means that you should get in the habit of replacing them every 3 months. Also, following illness, it is a good practice to replace your toothbrush to help prevent bad bacteria from growing on the toothbrush.

7. Replacing brushing with flossing or mouthwash

No one care regime should be used as a replacement for another and you should be brushing your teeth, flossing and using a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Just rinsing with mouthwash won’t help to get rid of build-up bacteria or food deposits just like brushing alone won’t give the same protection as using mouthwash.

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Due to COVID-19 regulations, SmilePad Dental Centres are currently closed. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to you. If you have a dental emergency you can contact your nearest practice during normal working hours and a member of staff will assess your emergency and offer advice on what can be done. Urgent Dental Care Hubs are in the process of being set up locally and we should have more details of these shortly. In the meantime, please DO NOT contact the 111 NHS service or visit the A&E department.
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