Dentist shares five signs you’re not brushing your teeth correctly

Dentist reveals how much toothpaste you should use

The morning and evening ritual of tooth brushing is probably something you do on autopilot.

No matter how tired you are; you manage to reach for the toothbrush and toothpaste on your bathroom shelf and brush away.

While this practice might seem simple, it’s actually a bit more intricate.

Worryingly, not paying adequate attention to dental hygiene could spell bad news for your smile.

However, two dentists have spoken to about the warning signs that your tooth brushing is not up to scratch.

READ MORE Some electric toothbrush users could be at risk of gum disease, warns expert

Faizan Zaheer, dentist at Bupa Dental Care, said: “The build-up of plaque in between your teeth and the gum line is the biggest indication that someone doesn’t brush. 

“If plaque is not removed from these areas, there will be an increased chance of tooth decay.

“There will also be an increased risk of inflammation of the gums.

“You need to clean your teeth more effectively and frequently to resolve this.”

Apart from teeth ridden with sticky and fuzzy film, dentist and founder of Paste Dental Belfast, Dr Alan Clarke, shared other signs to watch out for:

  • Persistent bad breath – if you consistently experience bad breath despite regular brushing, it could indicate that you are not effectively removing the bacteria and food particles that cause odour
  • Gum problems – poor brushing technique often results in gum problems such as bleeding, redness, swelling, or tenderness
  • Tooth sensitivity – if you experience discomfort or pain when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, it may be a sign that your brushing technique needs improvement
  • Tooth discolouration – inadequate brushing fails to remove surface stains effectively, resulting in tooth discolouration over time.

Fortunately, the experts provided useful tips that could help ensure your oral health and dental hygiene get back on track.

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How to correctly brush your teeth

The first step is choosing the right toothbrush, with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head that can easily reach all areas of your mouth being the best.

“I recommend an electric toothbrush as the best method. Whatever your ability, the power is unparalleled,” Dr Clarke said.

The next step is using fluoride toothpaste, which helps to strengthen the tooth enamel and make it more resistant to tooth decay.

Zaheer continued: “It’s important to brush twice daily for a minimum of two minutes, one tooth at a time, positioning your brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum and systematically working across the teeth one at a time so that no area gets missed. 

“Because teeth are curved, you need to manipulate the brush to enable the bristles to work around the curved surfaces.”

Instead of scrubbing your teeth vigorously, you should brush them in gentle circular motions. This technique helps to remove plaque and debris from all surfaces while avoiding damage.

Dr Clarke added: “Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

“[Furthermore], clean the gum line with gentle, short strokes to remove plaque and prevent gum disease. Neglecting this area can lead to gum inflammation and recession.”

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