We’ve been brushing our teeth all wrong

Seemed so simple...

The lessons we learn as kids are ingrained in us – chewing our food slowly, making our bed in the morning, putting our washing in the washing basket – but perhaps the most straight forward process we’ve ever been taught is how to brush our teeth. Unless you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life. 

While we’re all aware that we need to brush, floss and gargle in order to have a hygienic, health mouth, one in four adults don’t brushing their teeth twice a day and only 31% use mouthwash. But that’s not all – just 21% of people use dental floss daily (something that should be considered just as important as brushing). 

Even if you’re one of the few who do all of this correctly, your routine may in fact be wrong and considering it takes 21 days to break a habit and 4 weeks to form one, changing the way you brush your teeth might prove to be extremely difficult. Sure, there are ways to whiten your teeth, but, if you want your pearlies to be as protected as possible and naturally shine bright like a diamond, there’s a few changes you’re going to have to take on board according to dentists. 

1. The correct order.

We’ve all been taught to floss, brush and gargle, but the correct order is to floss, then gargle with mouthwash and finally brush your teeth. According to dental hygienists flossing first removes plaque and food debris, before rinsing away bacteria with mouthwash. But the real kicker is the fact that you should brush your teeth last (not gargle last) so that the toothpaste stays in contact with your teeth and gums for longer to provide better protection. 

2. It’s not just how you brush your teeth that matters, but when you brush your teeth that counts. 

For instance, brushing your teeth after breakfast is actually one of the worst things you can do. Eating food causes a build-up of acid in the mouth, which softens the enamel temporarily, so if you brush straight afterwards, you are brushing away soft enamel. And always read the instructions on any teeth whitening kits before brushing your teeth, because most of these soften the enamel too. 

3. Don’t rinse before you brush

Raise your hand if you rinse your toothbrush before layering a swipe of toothpaste on top. Us too. But dental hygienists recommend that you don’t wet your brush before brushing your teeth. Keeping them dry initially actually helps to improve plaque removal.
Just when you think you’ve got the simple things in life sorted… 

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