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MANILA, Philippines – Admit it: most of us don’t really pay attention to brushing our teeth. Stats showing that 87% of Filipinos suffer from tooth decay is enough proof.
We do it absentmindedly while thinking of what to do after, or hold our brushes haphazardly with one hand as we attempt to multitask. We follow an irregular brushing schedule, then subject our teeth to harsh brushing to make up for it.
As long as we’ve gone through the motions of brushing our teeth, we think we’re good to go. We fail to place importance on our oral hygiene routine, and in the process, develop bad brushing habits.
What are some of these habits and their repercussions?
Brushing your teeth vigorously
“Diggers” and “Fighters” fall prey to the common misconception that brushing hard is necessary for removing plaque thoroughly. A light pressure is enough to eliminate plaque from hard-to-reach grooves. Brushing too hard wears enamel down quickly and aggravates sensitive gums.
Resorting to weird angles
“Twisters” position their toothbrush in every possible angle just to reach the nooks and crannies of the mouth. It’s best to leave the twisting to acrobats and use a toothbrush with soft, flexible bristles that can reach in between your teeth.
Either rushing it or taking too long
Don’t be a “Racer” – your teeth deserve your undivided attention for approximately two minutes. Set a timer or listen to a song to gauge the time while brushing your teeth.
But don’t overdo it by brushing for too long, like the “Perfectionist.” This can break enamel and irritate the gums.
Rinsing after brushing your teeth
Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing means you’re rinsing the fluoride from your mouth. After brushing, spit out the excess toothpaste – and that’s it. Leave the fluoride residue behind to strengthen your pearly whites.
Using the wrong bristles
No need to feel overwhelmed by the wide selection of toothbrushes available at the supermarket. All you need to do is look for a brush with soft bristles. Contrary to popular opinion, hard bristles don’t necessarily clean more effectively.
For the hard-to-reach areas, choose a brush with soft, slim, and flexible bristles, such as the Colgate SlimSoft Advanced Toothbrush.
To treat brushing as an afterthought negatively affects more than just our dental hygiene. It can lead to a stunted social life and serious health risks.
But fortunately, these habits are easy enough to do away with. Half the battle is having the right tools. All it takes is a conscious decision to take care of our teeth as well as we do the rest of our body. – Rappler.com