Since childhood we’ve all had the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day drilled into our daily regime. While we hated it then, we’re old enough now to understand that it was in our best interests and something that would benefit us in the long run. But before you start patting yourself on the back, remember that there’s a good chance you aren’t brushing your teeth correctly and flossing them, which means that you might not be reaping the full benefits of both processes. And the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals that only about half of Australian adults brush their teeth at least twice a day…
With so many unpleasant side effects accompanying tooth decay and gum disease, proper brushing and flossing should be a vital component of every person’s healthcare. Here are a few pointers to make sure you’re doing it correctly:
- Brush for at least 120 seconds (two minutes)
- Keep your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle
- Brush the back and tops of your teeth that form the chewing surfaces
- Brush your tongue thoroughly and your gums.
Also make sure you replace your brush every three months or whenever the bristles appear worn. And if you’ve recently had an infection, it’s best to toss your brush and get a new one once you’re better.
Now, brushing will take care of removing external plaque and debris from your mouth, but the only way to get rid of trapped particles is through flossing. Flossing is a fairly straightforward process, but people often get it wrong too. Make sure you keep the following in mind the next time you floss:
- Use at least 45 centimetres per flossing session. Yes, it seems like a lot, but you should ideally move on after flossing between each tooth and not repeat.
- Make sure your grip is tight but your technique is gentle. You don’t want to be too rough with your sensitive gums!
- You should use the floss in a C shape and work your way in a back and forth motion on the sides of each tooth.
With your new and improved brushing techniques, you’ll be able to approach brushing with more confidence and experience better results than ever before.