It may seem simple to wash your teeth and tongue, but the truth is not everybody knows how to do it right. Keep reading to find out the most common mistakes.
We’ve been taught how to brush our teeth by our parents long before we can remember. We do it almost instinctively, without paying too much attention to what we are doing. There are some lifelong habits that we should get rid of.
Picking the wrong brush
Here’s a thing: there are countless types of brushes at the store and for mortal human beings –like myself– they are all the same. The benefits they advertise don’t seem to be clear for me either. But after doing some research, I learned that experts say that it is paramount for the brush to have soft bristles. They need to be able to bend to get under the gum without causing any damage. The size of the brush’s head should be in accordance with your mouth and there also several types of handles to reach all areas. But the most important is for the bristles to be able to remove the bacteria and loosen plaque from your teeth and gums and this does not mean that the harder the bristles, the more you’ll clean –au contraire, soft bristles don’t damage your gums or the structure of your tooth and clean more effectively.
Scrubbing and rushing
People tend to think that to clean thoroughly, they have to scrub their teeth as if they were cleaning an old baking pan. Well, don’t, please. Plaque is soft and loose, massage your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes –don’t rush. I usually make the effort to brush my teeth for a whole song, this serves as a timer and, on top of that, I get to listen to one of my favorite songs when I wake up or go to bed.
Use the same toothbrush for ages
If the bristles of your toothbrush become bent or discolored, please do change your brush. It is recommended to change it at least every 3 or 4 months.
You go back and forth
You should start from the gum massaging in circular up-and-down motions. If you scrub from left to right, there’s a good chance you hurt your gums.
Not paying attention to the gums
It is very common for bacteria to accumulate between your teeth and gum. Make sure you angle the brush at 45° against the gumline and then go for the rest of the tooth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue too!
Washing your teeth right after eating
You should wait for 15 or 20 minutes after eating to brush your teeth –why? Because that is long enough for your saliva to work on the acid before you go and help erode your teeth by brushing.
Not brushing thoroughly and flossing at least once a day
In order to keep your bacteria under control, you have to wash your teeth at least once every day exceptionally –brushing, flossing, mouthwash and rinsing.
But, what about the tongue?
Why it is a good idea to start tongue scraping
Tongue scraping is basically using a scraping tool to remove residue built up on your tongue.
The irregular surface of our tongue is a perfect place for bacteria to grow. But wait! Don’t go rushing to scrape your tongue with your brush! The fact is that using your toothbrush on your tongue will only move bacteria around and mouthwash can help with bad breath, but mechanical cleaning is paramount to physically remove the tongue coating.
It is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual practiced for thousands of years, it is said to remove toxins collected on your tongue and sharpen your taste buds.
How to use a tongue scraper?
- Stick your tongue as far as you can.
- Rinse the scraper.
- Hold the handle of the scraper and place it on the back of your tongue.
- Apply pressure and in slow motion pull the scraper from the back to the tip.
- Rinse the scraper and repeat from 4 to 8 times –that will do the trick.
Now that you know how to use it there are several tongue scrapers available in the market. Tip if you don’t own one and you want to give tongue scraping a try, use a clean spoon!