The importance of oral hygiene is widely known to most of us, but many people are still oblivious of how to do it the right way. In fact, proper oral hygiene has many more considerations that washing one’s hands or hair. Here, we’ll try to resolve some of the most common mistakes.
- How Long to Brush: It’s ideal to brush your teeth for about two minutes. Most people don’t go as long as 120 seconds, as the procedure is often considered boring. Take it easy when brushing. Do not apply pressure to your teeth. Focus instead to proper and gentle brushing and attempt to brush some hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Brush your tongue, gums, and sometimes the palate. Remember it’s called oral hygiene, not dental, and it’s for clear reasons. Doing things in this manner, brushing for two minutes should be fairly straightforward.
- A soft brush is ideal: If you have good oral hygiene, you shouldn't have any lasting stains which would require abrasion and pressure to your teeth. Most dentists today agree that soft and small-headed brushes are the best choice, and that how regularly you brush your teeth is more important. Replace your brush every 1-3 months, or whenever they show visible signs of wear. Worn-out toothbrushes are significantly less effective.
- The technique. Place your toothbrush at around 45 degree angle to your mouth, so it can cover tooth with the entire brush length. Note that this may vary depending of the brush you use. Make short back-and-forth movements which span for the width of the tooth. Gently move from one part of your jaw to another. Brush the front, chewing and inner surfaces of all your teeth. Remember to include the gums and tongue.
- The toothpaste: When you walk into a supermarket you will spot a wonderful variety of toothpastes, with huge differences in the content, purpose and price. Whenever you visit your dentist, consult with him or her which kind of toothpaste would best suit your current oral condition. Using inappropriate toothpastes may actually be harmful, so be aware of this when shopping.
- Dental Floss and Mouthwash: Flossing is more important than most people think. A tooth has five visible surfaces, and we mentioned three in the technique paragraph. The other two – those looking at neighbouring teeth - require flossing. It should be a daily routine. If you haven’t flossed your teeth before, it might be tough for you in the beginning, but you will acquire skill with time.
- Mouthwash can’t substitute brushing and flossing: The primary purpose of mouthwash is to freshen your breath as well as to disinfect and alkalise your mouth after a meal. These and similar solutions like oral rinses aren’t meant to replace your toothbrush and floss. It can help only in some situations, e.g. when you’re waiting for a connecting flight at an airport and your toothbrush is left in the checked baggage, mouthwash will be ideal. However, any time you have access to toothbrush, toothpaste and clean water you would never try to replace them.