One task in our daily routine that we perform on autopilot is brushing. Its rinse, toothpaste on and brush teeth… three steps that have become somewhat of an unconscious rhythm. So how much time do you spend on brushing your teeth? Ideally, it is recommended that you brush your teeth for at least 2 to 3 minutes – 1minute 30 seconds on both bottom and upper teeth.
Wouldn’t you say that brushing is most probably the easiest task in our routine? Yet, we still mess it up! But how does one mess up when brushing teeth? Well, there are many factors that can cause this such as speed, pressure, time and toothbrush quality.
Following are five bad brushing habits that you need to break before you do harm to your teeth:
1. Brushing Too Hard
It’s important to brush at least twice a day and in most cases, after you have had a meal. The pressure you put on your teeth while brushing can be very harmful if you do it with a heavy hand. While your teeth are strong enough to withstand this pressure, the gums are not! The bristles will slowly wear down the top thin layer, which will cause bleeding. Repeated damage to the teeth will cause swelling, which will make it difficult for you to eat and drink. This warrants a visit to the dentist!
2. Brushing For Less Than a Minute
Most of us always brush in a hurry. We figure, as long as we are “brushing”, the teeth will stay clean. However, that’s not the case! As mentioned earlier, you should spend around 3 minutes brushing your teeth. A great way to make sure that you are brushing your teeth long enough is to put on your favourite tune and listen to it while brushing.
3. Brushing Right after Eating
Every food item contains a certain kind of acid that makes the teeth temporarily soft. When you brush right after eating, the acids combined with the brush wear down the enamel. So, wait for around 40 minutes before brushing your teeth and after you are done, eat a sugar-free chewing gum or drink water to remove traces of acid.
4. Don’t Forget the Tongue and Gums
Both the tongue and gums can harbour bacteria. In fact, a gum bacterium is one of the reasons why you have bad breath. This is why, you need to floss daily. Clean your gums gently with your toothbrush and with the help of a tongue cleaner, remove that yellow-white residue from the tongue.
5. Using an Air Tight Brush Cap
An airtight brush cap gives bacteria more room to grow. If the bristles remain wet for a long time, moisture builds up inside, which attracts germs. This is why you need to make sure that your brush remains in an upright position in the holder and does not touch other family members’ brushes.
It’s important to change your toothbrush after every 4 months. After a certain time, the bristles of the toothbrush break down and become harder. The bristles open in every direction, which is what causes damage to the gums. So, make sure you replace your brush regularly and avoid all these bad brushing habits.