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It’s the one thing you do every day that makes a huge difference to your health. It doesn’t take much time and it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. We’re not talking about working-out or eating right – we’re talking about brushing your teeth! This daily habit can keep your smile healthy when performed correctly – but brushing mistakes can be detrimental to your oral health.
The American Dental Association says ‘it’s not the brush but it’s the brusher’ that keeps a mouth healthy. All this means is that don’t go wasting dollars on fancy gadgets if you’re not going to use them. Keeping your teeth clean starts with using a toothbrush that feels comfortable both in your hand – and in your mouth. If your mouth and teeth are small you may benefit from using a toothbrush that has a compact head that will make negotiating around teeth a little easier. If the toothbrush is too large it may result in surfaces of teeth being missed – so make sure you’re using a brush that is sized appropriately. After size come bristles. Some patients don’t feel as though their teeth are clean unless they’ve used a tooth with really hard bristles. Hard bristles can be hard on gum tissue so opting for one that’s softer will still keep your teeth clean without causing gum irritation.
Rushing your brushing may sound cute – but it’s the number one culprit of poor oral health. Technique and time can make all the difference between teeth that are only half clean to having a mouth that is free from food particles and plaque. Dentists and dental associations will tell you that effective brushing takes a full two minutes – not a huge amount of time to maintain your oral health. If you’re tempted to whiz over teeth try using a timer to get in to the routine of brushing longer.
Are you super attached to your toothbrush? Has it been forever since you switched to a brand new brush? The condition of toothbrush bristles plays a big role in removing plaque from around teeth. Worn down and splayed bristles just can’t do a good job so don’t hesitate to throw your brush out if it’s looking a little worse for wear. And it’s not just the look of your brush that reveals its health – keep in mind that bacteria and germs get caught in amongst bristles – so switching it out regularly helps stop you from unwanted exposure to germs.