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6 Brushing Mistakes That Are Bad for Your Oral Health

by Gauri Kolhe

Brushing your teeth is one of the good habits you do for hygiene purpose and have been doing for decades. Have you ever think that do you do it properly? Or any mistake you made while brushing your teeth?

If not then you will be surprised to know that for oral health you need to use proper brushing techniques without any mistake because it can make a big difference in the oral hygiene.

Frank A. Scannapieco, DMD, PhD, chair of oral biology at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, tells LIVESTRONG.com that “Your mouth is filled with bacteria that stick to your teeth. Once stuck there, the bacteria grow into a biofilm, which is comparable to the scum on the bottom of a boat”.

Brushing your teeth daily removes the bacterial layer form your teeth, leaving this layer unclean causes damage to gums and also leads cavities over a period of time.

Dr. Scannapieco says that “I fear that many people are not really brushing as well as they should, and it does result in a lot of gingivitis and gum disease”.

Some common brushing mistakes may be affecting your oral health you should not be make:

1. Brushing only Teeth

The most common brushing mistake is focusing on brushing only teeth while avoiding the cleansing of gums.

According to Dr. Scannapieco gumline is the most favorable area for bacterial growth so you should focus on brushing your gumlines also.

Lingering of bacteria under gum lines causes gingivitis; a medical condition causes inflammation in gums. So make sure to give a gentle massage to you gum when you clean teeth.

2. Using a Firm-Bristled Toothbrush

Another brushing mistake that is very common is using firm bristle toothbrush which may wear away your gums using over the years.

Dr. Scannapieco recommend to use a soft bristle brush it will be soft and kind to your gums and is being able to clean teeth by removing the bacterial layer before it turns into tartar.

So make sure to use soft bristle brush.

3. Short brushing time

Not brushing for long enough is another mistake you attempt while brushing. According to ADA you should brush for two minutes.

Dr. Scannapieco say that he  is not sure how rigorously two  minute time has been tested, but an average person brushes near about 30 seconds which is less than enough.

According to Dr. Scannapieco flossing, brushing and rinsing of mouth with mouthwas takes two to five minutes to maintain your oral health.

This problem can be solved by simply setting a timer on your phone and increasing brushing by 20-seconds. Nowadays electric toothbrushes are coming with inbuilt timer that also helps you brush you teeth for enough time.

4. Choosing Wrong Flosser

Bacteria not only grow on the surface of teeth they also grow in between the teeth and leaving them there leads cavities. American dentist association recommends cleaning in between the teeth once a day to prevent bacterial growth.

You can perform the task with the help of string floss, water flossers or interdental cleaners (a small brush –like device) especially finding one suitable to you.

For example, a person having larger spaces between the teeth recommends using interdental device while if you have permanent retainer than water flosser might be good help.

After choosing the better option for flossing, time is another thing to concern. The Best time to do flossing is before bed and then follow up the brushing.

So ask your doctor and do regular flossing with making wise choice of flosser.

5. Not using Fluoride Toothpaste

In recent years fluoride has gotten a bad reputation due to its safety concerns while people also have chosen alternative ingredients of fluoride like charcoal but in reality fluoride is the active therapeutic component that helps protecting and keeps teeth healthy.

Dr. Scannapieco gives statement that “I’d say that if you want tooth decay, don’t use fluoride toothpaste. That’s the active ingredient in the product. Everything else in there is for fresh breath and flavor. When used as directed, fluoride toothpaste is safe”.

6. Not Brushing Before Bed

You are recommended to brush teeth twice a day at least once in the morning after having breakfast (if possible) and before going to bed.

Dr. Scannapieco says that “Your mouth dries up when sleeping, and saliva is a natural defender of the mouth. It’s best to go to sleep with a clean mouth”. So try to brush before going to bed.

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