HEALTH AND HYGIENE

You have been brushing your teeth all wrong. Here's why

Brushing teeth only removes 30 to 53 per cent of plaque.

In Summary

• Brushing your tongue not only removes bad breath but can also prevent oral cavity caused by harmful bacteria.

• Frequent smokers and people with diabetes have a more urgent need to adopt using mouthwash since they are at risk of gum disease and gum inflammation by up to 85%

Tooth brush and toothpaste
Tooth brush and toothpaste
Image: Pixabay

Using the correct type of toothbrush, toothpaste, motion and time really counts when it comes to our dental health.

This comes in handy because most of us brush our teeth on autopilot mode.

For example, did you know you are supposed to spit and not rinse after brushing your teeth?

Rinsing your mouth can prematurely wash out the fluoride that is working on your teeth.

Using a soft bristle brush to clean your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is key to eliminating plaque, fighting germs and protecting the tooth against tooth decay.

Every time you brush your teeth, you stop bacteria from feeding on the food, multiplying and releasing acid that damage the teeth.

Image: WHO

How you also brush your teeth is equally important. In fact, it is recommended that you brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth for at least two minutes.

Brushing more than 3 times for a longer period could lead to the tooth enamel wearing down or cause damage to your gums as well.

Brushing your tongue not only removes bad breath but can also prevent oral cavity caused by harmful bacteria.

A man with brown teeth due to drinking water with excess fluoride in Kizingo village, Makindu, Makueni county, on September 7
A man with brown teeth due to drinking water with excess fluoride in Kizingo village, Makindu, Makueni county, on September 7
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Research has shown that brushing teeth only removes 30 to 53 per cent of plaque.

This means there are some residual plaque in areas that cannot be reached, so finishing up the routine with a gaggle of mouthwash cleans hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizes the teeth.

“Mouthwashes are useful as an adjunct tool to help bring things into balance. It is effective in children and older people, where the ability to brush and floss may not be ideal,” Healthline expert advised.

Frequent smokers and people with diabetes have a more urgent need to adopt using mouthwash since they are at risk of gum disease and gum inflammation by up to 85%.

However, visiting a dentist at least twice a year will get you the perfect recommendation when it comes to your oral health and fix any underlying issues.

Image: Courtesy: Educare Institute of Dental Science