We say this with confidence because after reviewing patients on their oral routine habits, we’ve learned two things:
1. Patients don’t realize just how important flossing is.
2. Patients don’t really have a thorough understanding of brushing their teeth.
As a result, we want to educate you on these two things in an effort to help you improve your oral health so that when you visit Dr. Thein for a routine dental appointment, you’ll be delighted to hear something along the lines of “Your teeth look very good, no issues found – keep at your routine!”
Unfortunately for most patients, their dental appointment often ends with “brush more” or “floss more” or some type of procedure recommended to reverse the damage done as a result of not staying on top of their dental routine.
Importance of Flossing
We’ll keep this brief, but you should know that flossing is arguably more important than brushing. Flossing is what enables you to physically remove the trapped debris under the gumline, which causes the decay you experience. This debris should be removed every night before you fall asleep, otherwise, bacteria will have a feast for the 7-8 hours you sleep on it.
3 Most Common Toothbrush Mistakes
Secondly, patients are often guilty of these 3 toothbrush mistakes that could be detrimental to your oral health.
Improper Form – Brushing Back and Forth
When you brush your teeth, you should brush in a circular motion which will connect with the gumline. If you are only brushing back and forth, chances are you will miss the gumline and now allow yourself an effective clean. Gumline cleaning is key because this is where the bacteria reside.
Not Brushing for 2 Minutes Per Session
When you brush your teeth, the entire session should last AT LEAST 2 minutes in duration. Most patients will go 30 seconds – 1 minute and call it quits. Chances are you only brushed half of your mouth effectively, which means bacteria will be feasting as you sleep (i.e. NOT GOOD!).
Not Swapping Out Your Toothbrush
Whether it’s laziness or inappropriate funds, most patients will use their toothbrush for as long as they can. However, this is bad for many reasons. For one, hard bristles will cause receding gums and secondly, you will not be able to receive a thorough clean if the bristles are fray. Replace your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head once every 3 months as the generally accepted rule. Though, realistically you should replace them whenever the bristles become hardened or fray.