Happy New Year! Its Teethlicious Tuesday, on this day we talk about the “Tooth”, and nothing but the “Tooth”.
A lot of things have to change this new year. Most people are not caring for their teeth properly and see a dentist only when it hurts. There are two ways to care for your teeth.
- Daily Home care and
- Professional care at least every 6 months
Teethlicious Mistake 1: Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing
- Spit the toothpaste out. Spit don’t rinse.
- If you do like to use mouthwash, Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride try to use it at a separate time to brushing to ensure that you get the full benefit of the fluoride in your toothpaste.
- Turn off the tap during brushing.
- Don’t drink water or beverages immediately, wait at least half an hour after brushing your teeth.
Teethlicious Mistake 2: Storing Your Toothbrush In The Bathroom.
This might be for easy access but when you store your toothbrush in your bathroom and you flush your toilet, the contents of your toilet bowl are sprayed in all directions. And these can get human feces which contain loads of bacteria on your toothbrush.
- Put a lid on your toothbrush.
- Store someplace other than your bathroom
- Close the lid on your toilet seat before flushing.
Teethlicious Mistake 3: Forgetting to Clean Your Tongue
- Use a tongue cleaner/scraper. It scrapes the residual bacteria off your tongue.
- Get a toothbrush that has a tongue scraper on the opposite side.
- Use the bristles of your brush to clean your tongue after brushing your teeth. It’s not as good as a tongue scraper, but will get the job done.
Teethlicious Mistake 4: Changing your toothbrush rarely.
- Change your toothbrush once the bristles lose their flexibility.
- Change your toothbrush every three months: Set a system to buy at-least 4 toothbrushes beginning of the year and change January, April, July and October.
Teethlicious Mistake 5: Using A Hard Bristle Toothbrush
Most people feel the harder the bristles the better it will clean. But the teeth and gums are not like the kitchen or bathroom floors that need hard scrubbing. They are living tissues that need tender care. If the bristles are too hard or stiff, they can hurt your gums and wear enamel off causing tooth sensitivity to cold and hot substances.
- Go for medium, soft or extra soft bristles. All you need is a brush to dislodge food particles that are stuck in between your teeth.
- Always check the pack for the type of bristle before you buy at the store.
Teethlicious Mistake 6: Not Brushing Your Teeth Long Enough
- Use electronic toothbrushes with timers
- Use a stopwatch on your phone or
- Play a song while brushing that lasts for two minutes.
- Use what you can to ensure you brush your teeth for two minutes.
Teethlicious Mistake 7: Using Incorrect Brushing Technique And Motion.
Most of us learnt our brushing techniques from our parents or guardians without much focus on correct technique and now brushing teeth is something we do on auto pilot.
- You should always hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to the gumline and .
- Make short circular strokes. Correct way to brush your teeth is in circles, don’t go back and forth. Circular motions are more gentle and effective at cleaning the gaps between the teeth.
- Avoid brushing so hard that the bristles bend on your teeth
Teethlicious Mistake 8: Brushing Teeth More Than Twice A Day.
Some people think it’s okay to brush three or four times a day usually after every meal. There is no need to brush your teeth more than two times a day. Brushing more than two times a day can actually damage your gums and erodes the enamel on your teeth.
- At-least Twice a day is enough.
Teethlicious Mistake 9: Avoiding the Use of Dental Floss
Using dental floss seem to be a very difficult oral hygiene practice to add to our routine. Majority avoid using it. Flossing is required at least once a day to remove plaque between your teeth, where your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
- Make it a habit to start flossing daily. The hardest part is getting started but its new year a good time to start something new.
- Set up a system to floss at the end of the day.
Teethlicious Mistake 10: Using your teeth as a tool
- Use the right tool. Avoid temptation to use your teeth as a tool by making the right tools available in your homes and offices eg bottle opener, scissors and razor blades.
- Act smart. Do not accept a dare or try to show off to family and friends you have got very strong teeth and been doing this for ages so you won’t stop the habit. You will only be displaying openly your ignorance and disregard for education. Only sensitivity and toothache will eventually teach you a lesson. Prevention is better than cure. A word to the wise is enough.