Brushing seems like it’s pretty straightforward. After all, you’ve been doing it all your life, and it’s like riding a bike: you never forget! But although we might firmly ingrain the habit of brushing, how do we know if we’re doing it properly? Are you supposed to rinse after brushing? What about using mouthwash or flossing; before or after? Well, it’ll surprise you to know that there are, in fact, ways that you can improve your brushing. Doing this will yield great benefits for your oral health and hygiene.
This post will talk about whether you’re supposed to rinse after brushing and the 9 mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth.
1. Don’t Brush Your Teeth Too Hard.
A toothbrush’s bristles are great at sweeping away things you don’t want in your mouth. However, they can also irritate the delicate lining of the gums, especially if you brush too hard.
Brushing too hard can even erode the strong enamel layer on the outside of your teeth, eventually contributing to cavities and future complications.
Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. Some electric toothbrushes are also able to tell you when you’re brushing too hard.
2. Take Your Time Brushing
The average adult hardly brushes for 30-45 seconds at most. That’s not nearly enough to allow the toothpaste’s active ingredients to clean effectively.
Dentists recommend brushing for a full 2 minutes, taking care to cover every corner of the mouth, teeth, and gums.
3. Don’t Forget To Clean Your Tongue.
After you’re done brushing your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue! The papillae on your tongue provide a great surface for bacteria and food debris to attach themselves. Over time, this can cause bad breath and incubate bacteria that can spread to other corners of your mouth.
Brush gently from back to front, and your tongue should be a fleshy pink color when clean.
4. Perfect Your Brushing Technique
Don’t brush side-to-side or back-to-front. The best way to way brush your teeth is to make gentle, circular motions between the teeth. This prevents scraping the sensitive tissues of the mouth and cleans more effectively.
5. Are You Supposed To Rinse After Brushing?
When you brush your teeth, the toothpaste’s detergent action combines with the bristles’ mechanical action. This means that all the plaque buildup and leftover food particles in your mouth are (ideally) eliminated. But also, toothpaste serves another important function.
Toothpaste contains fluoride that is meant to attach itself to your tooth enamel, strengthening it. However, if you rinse with water after brushing your teeth, you dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the fluoride.
Instead of washing it away and off of your teeth, spit, don’t rinse. Wait at least 30 minutes after brushing to drink any water.
6. Don’t Use Mouthwash Right After Brushing.
Mouthwash should be the last step to make sure you get rid of everything, but dentists recommend using it at a different time of day than when you brush. This is because, just like rinsing with water, mouthwash can take the fluoride off your teeth, making it less effective.
7. If You’ve Eaten, Wait Before You Brush.
Don’t brush immediately after a meal! Certain foods can change the pH balance of your mouth and produce a more acidic environment. This can slightly weaken tooth enamel, and the abrasive action of brushing can erode your teeth rather than benefit your oral health.
Wait 30 minutes after consuming a meal or beverage such as tea or coffee.
8. Don’t Neglect Flossing!
Flossing is a great way to boost your oral health. While brushing alone is necessary, a lot of people neglect to floss. Flossing right before you brush is a great way to dislodge even more gunk between your teeth that brushing alone can’t catch.
Brushing right after flossing will wash the debris right out and allow the toothpaste to coat the cleaned area.
9. See A Dentist Regularly
Brushing and flossing regularly is a sure way of keeping your teeth in great shape. But part of your oral care routine should include seeing a professional dentist regularly. They can offer advice based on the condition of your mouth and correct any brushing habits as they see necessary. Besides, they can catch and treat oral diseases and development before they can get serious.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining good oral hygiene can be a little work, but the benefits include cleaner teeth, gums, and tongue, less bad breath, and a fresher feeling in your mouth as you go about your day. Your dentists at A+ Star Smile Dental can help you get on track to maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Contact us at (713) 984-4934, and we’ll be happy to help!