According to dentists, brushing your teeth twice a day and not eating too much sugar are the most important things for good dental health.
But despite it being seemingly simple advice, there are a whole host of mistakes you can make when trying to keep your pearly whites in top condition.
Here, a dentist tells MailOnline which common mistakes should be avoided.
Dentists have revealed their best tricks and tips to keep your pearly whites in top condition
It is a habit for many British people to rinse their teeth with water or mouthwash after brushing their teeth.
But Dr. Praveen Sharma, a Birmingham-based restorative dentistry specialist and scientific advisor to the British Dental Association, says using mouthwash immediately after brushing will dilute the benefits of fluoride in your toothpaste.
Fluoride remineralizes tooth enamel, reverses premature tooth decay and stops the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. It reduces the risk of cavities by 25 percent.
It’s common to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth, but dentists say it’s better to spit than rinse after each brushing
Using mouthwash or rinsing immediately after brushing your teeth can remove the fluoride residue left on your teeth, protecting them from harmful bacteria.
Dr. Sharma said, “Don’t spit out after brushing or you will dilute the benefits of fluoride.
‘If you use mouthwash the same principle applies, just make sure you use it at a different time to brushing.’
Removing the fluoride can increase the risk of gum disease and cause tooth decay.
Brush less than an hour after eating
If you want to keep your smile white and maintain perfect oral hygiene, experts recommend waiting at least 60 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Cleaning too soon after eating can damage the enamel layer on your tooth.
Your teeth need time to remineralize naturally, especially after you eat something acidic, such as a carbonated drink.
‘Ideally, you should take a 30-60 minute break after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth, as the mouth needs some time to clean itself and allow the surfaces of the teeth to reset,’ added Dr. Sharma added.
‘You may think that diet soft drinks, fruit juices and smoothies are safe alternatives, but they are not: many contain an acidic ingredient that attacks the surface of your teeth, increasing the risk of erosion. the surface of the teeth is gone – and tooth decay.”
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria form a sticky layer called plaque over your teeth and damage the surface over time.
About 27 percent of adults in England suffer from tooth decay.
Do not use interdental brushes
Over time, bits of food and plaque can build up in the gaps between your teeth.
If left behind, it can slowly rot your teeth and cause gum disease; they become painful, swell and may also bleed.
Interdental brushes have small brush heads that you can use to remove hidden food or plaque.
Dr. Sharma said, “Try to clean the spaces between your teeth (where there is space) at least once a day with interdental brushes.
Interdental brushes have small brush heads that you can use to remove hidden food or plaque. If they are too large, twice daily flossing is recommended
‘It is advisable to do this before brushing. If the space between the teeth is too small to insert a brush, use dental floss.
‘When brushing, point the bristles of the brush down towards the gums for the lower teeth and up towards the gums for the upper teeth, at a 45 degree angle.
“This allows the bristles to reach slightly below the gum line.”
He recommends brushing in small, circular motions to avoid a “scrubbing motion” that can damage teeth and gums.
Don’t brush your teeth before going to sleep
Although brushing your teeth before going to bed seems obvious, research suggests that more Britons brush their teeth in the morning than in the evening.
According to a YouGov survey, Britons who brush twice a day brush more often in the morning (87 percent) than in the evening (72 percent).
Of those who say they brush their teeth only once a day, 70 percent say they do so in the morning and only 23 percent in the evening.
If you don’t brush your teeth overnight, bacteria can feast on sugars from food and mouth acids, while the body’s saliva defenses are turned off.
Saliva helps flush sugar from your mouth into the stomach and helps fight bacteria.
Dr. Sharma said: ‘Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes to thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth, especially lastly before going to bed when saliva production is at its lowest – saliva helps get rid of bacteria to rinse. that cause tooth decay.’
How often should you brush your teeth?
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes in the morning before breakfast and lastly in the evening before going to bed. Brush with fluoride toothpaste, spending 30 seconds on each quarter of your mouth.
- Never brush your teeth immediately after a meal as this can damage your teeth, especially if you have had fruit, soda, wine or other foods that contain acid. Wait an hour after a meal before brushing.
- For most adults, a toothbrush with a small head and a compact, angled arrangement of long and short bristles with rounded ends is fine. Medium or soft bristles are best for most people.
- A simple tip is to imagine that a tooth has five surfaces. Three of these – the top, the front and the back – all need to be brushed. Flossing takes care of the two hidden surfaces between the teeth.
Source: Health Direct