It’s All About Brushing Your Teeth
You learned about the importance of brushing your teeth as a child and have been doing it (at least twice a day, right?) ever since. You would think that with so many years of practice that we would all be experts. Yet what we see in our practice is that many people either don’t know how to brush properly or have developed bad habits that make their brushing ineffective and in some cases harmful to their teeth and gums. If brushing your teeth is such a simple thing then why are so many people getting it wrong?
Favouring One Side or the Other When Brushing Your Teeth
Have you ever tried to brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand? It feels strange and impossible to get the right angles. Most people brush their teeth holding the brush in only one hand. Without realizing it you are favouring one side of your mouth and probably spending more time there than on the other side. That can be bad news for the side that’s getting all of the attention because gum recession can occur. The side that it is getting inefficient or less brushing obviously suffers from not being cleaned as well, putting those teeth and gums at greater risk for decay. You’re probably not going to change hands while brushing, but just be aware of the preference and try to spend equal time on both sides, being extra careful to get into the areas you may have been missing.
Brush Smarter, Not Harder
Unlike the pots and pans in your kitchen sink or the grout between your bathroom tiles, scrubbing harder is not going to get your teeth any cleaner. When you scrub, the bristles of your toothbrush bend and flatten making them useless for brushing plaque away from around the gum line. You can also cause damage to your gums with that kind of harsh treatment, causing bleeding and greater sensitivity. Be gentle and you’ll actually get better results from brushing, or switch to an electric toothbrush and use a water flosser to up your oral hygiene game.
There’s Bacteria Everywhere
Most people still don’t realize that bad-breath causing bacteria don’t just live on your teeth. They also get pretty comfortable on your tongue, cheeks and even the roof of your mouth. Be honest, when was the last time you brushed your tongue or the roof of your mouth? Based on the coated tongues and bad breath that we see in patients every day, you’re probably not doing it. Ever. Use your toothbrush to clean away all of the bacteria in your mouth and you’ll need to worry less about bad breath unless you are dealing with other health concerns.
Even though we’ve all had a lot of practice at brushing our teeth every day, for most people, it’s not a task that is practiced to perfection. That’s just one more reason why regular visits to the dentist are important. Your dentist or hygienist can point out the things you may be missing, or doing ineffectively while you brush, and can teach you how to do it better, perfecting your technique, for healthier teeth and gums.
Dr. Agatha Bis is a family dentist in Oakville. Dr. Bis and her team focus on prevention and the health of your teeth and gums as an integral part of your overall health. Call our Oakville dental clinic us at 905.338.6684 or contact us through the form below to make an appointment. Dr. Bis also provides restorative and cosmetic dentistry services including the placement of veneers, replacement of mercury amalgam fillings, teeth whitening and more.