Are you one of the many Australians making common tooth-brushing mistakes? We’ve put together some simple tips to get you brushing better:

  • When brushing your teeth, you want to hold the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line, brushing in little circular motions; NOT up and down motions. This can lead to gouges in your enamel that make a perfect home for tiny food particles;
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. This means you have to ignore your brain’s built-in 45-second timer, which is the average time most people brush. To go the extra mile, grab a two-minute brushing timer or try an electric toothbrush with a timer built-in; and
  • Over-brushing is real. Vigorous brushing can wear down the enamel on the teeth as well as damage and push back the gums, exposing the sensitive root area. Thoroughness is best, not aggression. So, you should apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums. If you are squashing the bristles, you’re brushing too hard.

Some other simple tooth-brushing tips are:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush with a small head;
  • Use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste;
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth;
  • Floss as often as possible – for periodontal patients, periodontists recommend using a Pikster as well as floss for best results when cleaning between teeth; and
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

 Children should move through different stages of teeth-brushing with different techniques.  We’ve written a bit more about this on another news post here.