IT’s something we all do every day so you’d think we might have it down to a tee.
But a dentist reckons millions of us are brushing our teeth all wrong.
Dr Sahil Patel said he repeatedly sees his patients making several mistakes which could be wreaking havoc on their oral health.
He said: “If you do this, you’re diluting it.
“Toothpaste already has the right amount of moisture.
“If it’s wet, it makes it foam up faster and makes you spit it out sooner.”
Other common habits he’d advise we avoid include being too heavy handed and opting for floss over interdental brushes.
Dr Patel, founder of Marylebone Smile Clinic in London, said: “Often people hold their brush with a fist.
“You shouldn’t feel like you’ve had a scrub against the teeth, that’s too much.
“If the bristles splay against the tooth, it’s not doing a good job.
“Bristles should be straight against the teeth and you should have a soft touch.”
Explaining why he’d choose sticks over string, the dentist added: “The bristles that clean between the teeth can get to corners and tricky areas that the toothbrush can’t get to to clean our plaque.
“This makes them more effective than floss and they come in many shapes and sizes to ensure a good fit.”
When it comes to the order in which to clean your gnashers, Dr Patel recommends working back to front.
“The back is often the hardest part to clean, so I’d recommend starting there first,” he said.
“If you start at the front and do the back last, you’re more likely to stop and put your brush down, missing the back or not cleaning the back properly.”
He also said one decently-done clean a day is better than two half jobs.
“It’s quality over quantity,” he added.
“I’d rather someone brushes once a day well, rather than twice a day slap dash.
“Problems start when we miss certain areas regularly and then this turns into a problem, so it’s better to brush once and well, than twice and poorly.”
But if you are going to skip a scrubbing session, it should be the one when you first wake up.
Dr Patel said: “Don’t miss the evening brush.
“The saliva in your mouth reduces while you sleep, so the food that you’ve had during the day will stay in your teeth and fester overnight, causing bigger problems.”