Brushing your teeth: it seems like a no –brainer, right? Like many daily routines, you may find yourself standing in front of the mirror each morning and night brushing your teeth with little to no regard for your method of brushing.
Forcefully scrubbing your teeth won’t make them any cleaner, it’ll likely wear the enamel down if anything, which in turn makes you more susceptible to cavities. Making a conscious effort to be gentle can help create new habits of hygiene: use soft circular motions up to the gum line.
It is also good to wait 30 minutes after you eat or drink anything acidic, like fruit, to brush your teeth. The enamel is weakened by these acids, and brushing immediately after can help increase the damage; so either brush before, or wait a bit after you have finished eating.
Some dentists even recommend that you don’t fully swish the toothpaste out of your mouth with water after brushing. Leaving a bit of film from your toothpaste is a good idea for adults; just try using a little less water to swish in your mouth after brushing.
Flossing is something we could all do more of, regardless of whether it is before or after you brush, getting in between your teeth keeps your mouth healthy. The correct way to floss involves starting at the top of the tooth, in the gum line, and scooping it down. Sawing back and forth is not a good practice, and doesn’t get you as clean as a full gentle motion does.
Over-flossing, or flossing aggressively can be detrimental to your oral health, as much as not flossing at all can. Just taking a clean string of dental floss to your teeth once daily is recommended.
What about mouthwash, you ask? Most dentists recommend a good mouthwash to wipe out the bacteria and bad breath germs as part of your daily oral care. However, the National Health Service recommends that instead of rinsing before or after brushing, that you use mouthwash on a separate occasion. An post-lunch, afternoon swish of mouthwash can help eliminate all those food smells, plus keep your teeth clean, it’s a win-win!