Oral Care 101: These Common Brushing Mistakes Are Costing You Dearly

Brushing is more than just squeezing paste out of a tube. It might seem as easy as ABC, but are you really brushing your teeth as well as you could? You won’t believe how simple it is to correct the most common brushing oversights that are causing a world of difference in your oral health without your knowledge:

Hitting the sack without brushing?

You’ve heard it a hundred times before and you’ll hear it again. And there is good reason for it. Three meals, dotted with coffee, tea and a couple of other transfats for snack binges: if brushing in the morning helps gets rid of morning breath, brushing at night eliminates the number one reason that contributes heavily to morning breath: plaque (formed when fluids, food and saliva combine). You can’t be ending your day without brushing: even if it’s not the dedicated 30 seconds per mouth quadrant. You can leave that effortful session for the morning. 

Are you scrubbing or massaging your teeth? 

The misunderstanding is common for brushing would not translate to massaging when you look up the word. But neither does it translate to scrubbing rigorously. Going all out on your teeth – left to right, right to lift, in quick, rapid strokes, defeats the whole purpose of cleaning your teeth. You are not sawing wood. Loosen up. Contrary to popular notion, plaque is soft – small, gentle motions does the trick. Aggressive brushing can erode your enamel – the outer layer of your teeth that protects it against decay. 

Don’t go left to right, go up and down

You know that line inside your mouth where your tooth meets your gums? That’s a hot place for bacteria to hang out. It’s an area we miss. You want to get right under the gum when you brush. That’s why it’s important for your strokes to start from top. It’s simple, really. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, against your gumline and use little, circular motions to go up and down the whole tooth. 

Your tongue is part of your mouth!

The science is straightforward. Your tongue is wet with saliva – microorganisms find it easy to stick onto its surface. It’s the same microorganisms that cause bad breath.  The tongue is also known to have an uneven surface with crevices where bacteria can easily hide unless removed physically with a tongue cleaner or with the help of the back of your brush. 

The right toothbrush 

You need bristles that will get under the gum, and only the soft ones can do that. Hard ones will not bend, leaving you with futile attempts at brushing. We know it’s hard to let go of a good toothbrush but you know your brush needs replacing when you see the bristles discoloured or dirty looking. Bristles lose their power on fraying; it’s smart to not stick to the same one. Typically, a good brush will last you 4 months.

Give it time

Hurrying your way through brushing is the most unfair treatment you can give to your teeth. You listen to songs while driving and showering. So put on your headphones, hit your favourite song and brush the duration of it. But a minimum of 2 minutes is what your teeth deserve and no less!

Important: Keep your brush in the open to prevent mold from growing on its wet surface. 

Garima Ghosh
About Garima Ghosh 90 Articles
When I'm not writing on cocktail dressing etiquette or why you need a popsocket in your life, I'm on the hunt for the latest board games in the market.