We all want healthy and happy teeth, and to get this, oral hygiene is essential. However, there are some mistakes which you might be making that could be hindering your smile. It’s likely that, growing up, you were taught to brush your teeth twice a day and avoid too many sweets, or to brush your teeth straight after meals, such as breakfast. 

In actual fact, brushing your teeth immediately after eating meals or sugary foods can cause damage to the layer of enamel on your tooth. Instead, it’s recommended that you wait roughly 30 minutes after eating before brushing in order to allow the enamel on your teeth to remineralise. There are a number of common mistakes and misconceptions you may be making when it comes to your oral health – let’s take a look at some of them and see what can be avoided. 

Brushing Teeth Too Hard

It’s important that, when brushing your teeth, you don’t brush them too hard. You want to avoid doing that because brushing your teeth can be abrasive to your gum tissue and teeth. Instead of scrubbing your teeth vigorously, you should instead look to brush your teeth in circular motions, using firm but gentle pressure. 

Using The Wrong Toothbrush 

You will struggle to brush your teeth properly if you are using the wrong toothbrush. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are said to be the way forward, as they are more gentle on the teeth and gums. Hard-bristled toothbrushes may be abrasive on the gums and can cause recession or tooth sensitivity. Dentists will often recommend electric toothbrushes as, although you can do a good job with manual toothbrushes, you need to get the technique right, but with electric toothbrushes, it does most of the work for you. 

Skipping Flossing

If you skip flossing, then did you know that you’re missing out on cleaning 40% of the surface of your teeth? Flossing is vital for removing plaque and harmful bacteria and germs from the surface of your teeth and reducing the chances of developing cavities and gum disease. It’s recommended to floss between your teeth at least once each day, but if you’re not keen on traditional flossing methods, consider using floss picks instead. If you have Invisalign aligners or traditional braces, then these, as well as interdental brushes, can provide you with a fresher clean feeling. 

Not Changing Your Toothbrush Regularly

You can’t keep your mouth healthy and clean if you are using an old, dirty toothbrush. If you’re not changing your toothbrush regularly, then you may be reintroducing bacteria and germs into your mouth each time you brush. As well as this, old toothbrushes may not provide the best clean, either. Look to change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three to four months, but if you notice any signs of wear and tear between this time, consider changing your toothbrush earlier. 

Using The Wrong Toothpaste

Did you know that you can be allergic to your toothpaste? A lot of people that suffer from chapped lips, mouth irritation or rashes around the mouth may consider other reasons, but in a number of cases, this can actually be down to using the wrong toothpaste. Toothpastes can contain a long list of ingredients which can cause a localised allergic reaction. 

Some dentists consider a number of toothpaste to be more of a cosmetic product than a health one due to the fact that they don’t offer any benefits, so look to avoid heavily flavoured toothpastes that promise the world. You should also avoid using harsh whitening toothpastes, too, as these can damage your enamel. Instead, consider visiting a cosmetic  dental practice for teeth whitening advice instead, as these will be much gentler and offer better results.