Dentist reveals how much toothpaste you should use
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The daily ritual of brushing teeth is essential to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. The primary reason to scrub your gnashers is to ward off plaque – a film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you don’t brush them properly. A build-up of plaque contributes to gum disease and tooth decay.
Doing something every day doesn’t necessarily mean you do it well, however.
“Lots of people brush their teeth straight after eating, because they believe it’s important to get rid of the food from their teeth quickly,” Cosmetic dentist Dr Hanna Kinsella of Kiln Lane Dental told Express.co.uk.
However, according to Dr Kinsella, this can actually do more harm than good.
This is because brushing straight after eating can damage the delicate tooth enamel.
Enamel is the substance that covers each tooth and provides a tough outer layer.
It is the first and most important line of defence against tooth decay.
According to Dr Kinsella, it’s better to wait at least half an hour after eating before brushing, especially after eating acidic foods.
“This is because foods that contain citric acid can soften tooth enamel for a time, and brushing too soon after eating them will damage the enamel while it’s weak.”
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What else should you avoid?
Another common trap that people fall into is holding their toothbrush tight when they brush.
“When using a manual toothbrush many people hold it tightly in their hand as if they’re making a fist around it,” noted Dr Kinsella.
The logic of this action is clear: this enables people to grip the brush firmly.
However, the pressure applied to the brush works its way down to the teeth, Dr Kinsella warned.
“Applying too much pressure is dangerous though because it can slowly erode the tooth enamel which can’t repair itself,” she warned.
This action can also result in sensitivity and cause gums to shrink and erode, she added.
What does Dr Kinsella advise instead?
“Instead, I always advise people to hold their toothbrush at the very end and use a grip as if they’re holding a pen.”
As she explained, by holding the brush in this way you will ensure that you aren’t applying too much pressure to the brush and the teeth, therefore protecting them from damage.
Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?
According to the NHS, it doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush.
“They’re both equally good, as long as you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth,” explains the health body.
Whatever type of brush you choose, you should use fluoride toothpaste, it says.
“But some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush.”
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