It’s not hard to clean your teeth, is it? Well, yes it can be hard to brush your teeth properly, so here are some valuable tips for shiny teeth and no permanent marking.
Take enough time: It sounds obvious, but the most common mistake is the hustle. It may be exam time or getting late for school- there are multiple reasons why you could be in a hurry brushing, but just remember that if you don’t brush your hair or wash your face, you just look messy for that day. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, bacteria are growing and breeding in your mouth causing damage.
Get a new brush: If your toothbrush is old with distorting bristles, you need a new one. Then the bristles will go where you point them. It’s often recommended that you change your brush every 3 months, but braces can mangle a brush quicker than that, and inter-dental brushes wear out especially quickly.
Brush one or two teeth at a time: Scrubbing strongly in large strokes is impressive, but can cause ulcers. Go slowly and methodically, brushing one or two teeth at a time. Small circular strokes of the brush work well. Hold your lips out of the way if necessary and point the brush towards the junction between the gum and tooth.
Mouthwash is not a brushing substitute: Yes, dentists tell you to use a mouthwash, but not instead of brushing. They want you to use a fluoride mouthwash because it helps to strengthen your enamel. Don’t be misled by the mouthwash adverts claiming to kill over 99% of oral bacteria. Your teeth will only get clean if you brush them. A standard mouthwash can only kill the bacteria it contacts and it can’t contact bacteria hidden deep within a thick furry build up of plaque. Mouthwash is an add-on not a substitute.
Remember to brush often enough: You need to brush after every time you eat. That means taking a toothbrush with you everywhere. If you can, the full works is best, with toothbrush, inter-dental brush and toothpaste.
Don’t use too big a brush: If your toothbrush looks more like a shoe brush on a stick, change it for a small one. Big brushes look like they will clean a lot of teeth in one go, but actually tend to skate over the braces, missing the areas where plaque builds up.
Don’t stop cleaning because of bleeding gums: Sometimes patients get scared they are damaging their gums if they bleed in some places when brushing. They then avoid that area in future. In fact, the bleeding is usually a sign that more cleaning is needed, not less. When an area of gum has become inflamed due to plaque bacteria being left undisturbed there for a while, it will bleed easily when a toothbrush next touches it. But if the area is regularly cleaned again, the inflammation settles and the bleeding stops. If your gums do not stop bleeding after a few days of good cleaning, let your dentist know.