News & media Blog Five oral health faux pas you never knew were bad for you In an era where people say appearance is everything, having a good smile is key! Many of us know to brush twice a day and stay away from sugar but are you sure you’ve thought of everything? The Oral Health Foundation is providing the following information to those who’d like to make sure their dental health routine isn’t full of holes! 1. Spit Don’t Rinse Fluoride is very good for your teeth. You’re likely to find it in most of the toothpastes on the shelf at your local supermarket. To give your teeth the best chance of staying pearly white, you don’t want to lose the full benefit of brushing with a fluoride toothpaste. So, after you’ve finished brushing, spit out the excess and then do not rinse. Let the fluoride work it’s magic after you’ve finished brushing! 2. Mind the loo! This is something you might not think of too much, but where you keep your toothbrush when you aren’t using it is very important. If you keep your brush a little to close to your toilet, every time someone flushes, some of the spray will fly out the toilet and may land on your toothbrush. Now we aren’t saying that you’ve been brushing your teeth with bad bacteria for years, but we’d recommend moving your brush a safe distance away. Just to be on the safe side. 3. Sharing is a no-go It doesn’t matter how close you are, or if you’re related, if you want your oral health routine to be air-tight, you should be the only person who uses your toothbrush. No exceptions. Not just because you can get colds and blood-borne diseases from people you share your brush with but also because you could be sharing your germs with others! Nobody is perfect, keep your germs to yourself, just like your toothbrush! 4. Brushing is NOT a quick fix Have you ever had a drink of something sugary or acidic right before bed and go to brush your teeth straight after you finish? You’d think it was a good idea, but you’d be wrong. Consuming anything even remotely bad for your teeth makes them weaker and if you brush straight away you could actually be brushing away fragments of your enamel. That can lead to toothache and increased sensitivity. Instead, give it an hour and then brush with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes last thing at night. In the meantime, read a book, catch up on your favourite TV series or do those chores you’ve been putting off all week! 5. There IS such a thing as brushing too much! The enamel of your teeth is the hardest substance in your body – but it isn’t indestructible. Again, it might sound like a good idea to brush hard to provide the most thorough clean but being tough on your teeth can do more harm than good. By all means be firm with your teeth and make sure you clean every tooth but there is no need to go crazy, whether that means brushing too hard or for too long. There’s a lot more to your oral health than you might think. Hopefully you’ve gained a new perspective on how you can improve your dental hygiene at home, whether that be closing the lid of the toilet more often or deciding to buy a new toothbrush for your significant other. If you have any questions about your oral health, please contact our Dental Helpline. They can provide free, expert and confidential advice on a range of topics, and they won’t judge you for sharing your toothbrush… much.