You're brushing the wrong way
- The recommended way to brush your teeth is not with horizontal strokes along your gums.
- Instead, the current method recommended by the British Dental Health Foundation is to place the brush at 45 degrees against your gum line and move it in small circular movements on all the surfaces of every tooth.
- Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gum line.
- Brush the biting surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small circular strokes with the front part of the brush.
- Finally, brush your tongue. This will remove bacteria from its surface and freshen your breath.
You’re not rinsing your toothbrush enough
- Bacteria grows on your toothbrush, so it is important to rinse it before and after use.
- It will also remove any toothpaste that may be left on the brush.
- After rinsing the brush, shake out the moisture, as a moist brush is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Your toothbrush is too old
- The longer you use your toothbrush, the more bent and misshapen the bristles will be, which undermines their effectiveness.
- You should replace your brush every three months, or once your bristles have lost their flexibility.
You're not flossing
- You may be diligent at brushing your teeth, but if you're not flossing regularly, you're failing to clean your teeth properly.
- Bits of food will get stuck between your teeth in places where the bristles don't reach. The food will decay and bacteria will attack your teeth and gums.
- The only way to remove food may be by flossing, which is why you should make a habit of doing so daily.
- Buy the right floss for your teeth - waxed if you have closely spaced teeth, or tougher floss if you have rough tooth edges.
- Make sure you use enough floss, as reusing it may simply move bacteria between teeth.