If you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once, you may be quite happy with your dental hygiene routine. However while you may have a good routine, it isn’t going to amount to much if you aren’t brushing your teeth effectively.
At the end of the day, the goal when you brush your teeth should be to remove any plaque that could eventually cause cavities and gum disease. If you’re brushing effectively then all that plaque should be gone by the time you’re done, but if you’re not some of it may remain and could cause issues later on.
In order to check that your brushing is effective, there are a few things that you should do:
- Use your tongue to feel your teeth
If you’ve been brushing effectively, your teeth should constantly feel smooth – as if they’ve just been professionally cleaned. By running your tongue over the surface of your teeth you should be able to feel whether or not there is any leftover plaque. Be sure to pay close attention to the gumline, as plaque often lurks and collects there.
- Try a plaque-disclosing mouthwash
Nowadays there are some mouthwashes and rinses that will reveal any plaque that is still on your teeth, and you could try using one just to check. When you rinse your mouth it should dye any plaque that is still on your teeth a particular color, making it easy to spot in the mirror.
- Conduct a ‘squeak test’ with your finger
Rather than using your tongue to feel for plaque, you could wet your finger and run it across the surface of your teeth instead. If the surface is clean it will normally ‘squeak’, which is why the test itself is often referred to as the ‘squeak test’. Unfortunately this isn’t the most thorough of tests, but it should give you an idea of whether there is plaque particularly on the front surfaces of your teeth.
- Check for inflamed gums after brushing
Do you find that your gums are inflamed, red, puffy, and maybe even bleed after you’ve brushed? Normally this is a surefire sign that there is plaque and tartar building up near the gumline, which in turn means that you haven’t been brushing effectively. Assuming the issue persists, you should check your technique and inspect your teeth for other signs of plaque.
While these measures can help you to identify some of the signs that your teeth aren’t being brushed effectively – the best way is to go for a dental checkup. During your next checkup with a Bath dentist be sure to express any concerns you may have, and ask the dentist whether they feel your brushing has room for improvement. Not only will this give you a definite answer as to whether or not your brushing is effective, but if it isn’t your dentist should also be able to help you identify the shortcomings in your technique and provide you with advice on how to improve it.