BRUSHING YOUR TEETH: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG
Say cheese! Or not, as the case maybe…
And going by the reaction at a recent event where I, along with several other health and beauty journalists, were invited to hear founder of the Harley Street Dental Studio, Dr Mark Hughes discuss oral hygiene, I reckon I’m safe in assuming that you’ve probably been brushing your teeth all wrong!
Get this. You’re supposed to brush before breakfast, not after!
WTAF? I know, right?
(Now, if you’ve already been doing this, well bloody done! You get a sticker and get to scroll straight down to enter the competition below to win THIS!)
OK. So, back to this press event hosted by FOREO – where the habitual routine of waking, weeing, showering, eating breakfast and then brushing was in fact, according to Dr Hughes, wrong, wrong, wrong!
Wide-eyed and wanting to look gobsmacked but then fearing that opening my mouth would further expose me as someone who has now been caught out by this A-list dentist-in-demand; my only saving grace was knowing that I haven’t always been brushing my teeth incorrectly…
As a child, once those wonky (thumb-sucker) pearly whites popped out, my parents always encouraged my brother and I to brush first thing in the morning.
The fact that Colgate and Cornflakes mingled, wasn’t an issue.
We’d nothing to compare it to. We assumed it was the norm. A bit like not being able to watch TV and laugh on Good Friday. That’s normal, innit?
I blame getting a degree in dancing to house music, I mean a BA Hons in Media Studies (what do you mean that’s the same thing?) because it was only until after I left home that I began to mess up my routine and these are what Dr Hughes suggests are the contributing factors as to why us Brits have on record, some of the worst oral hygiene habits.
Did you know that half the population suffer from gum disease?
If you’re clamping your mouth shut as you read this – don’t!
Your breath doesn’t smell (quick, check!) and I’m sure that once you realise that you may have to change (perhaps) what’s been the habit of a lifetime, then you’re already making steps in improving your oral health and if you have kids – your children’s teeth, too.
OMG! THE KIDS!
If you’re a parent reading this, it’s a normal reaction to feel horror, shock and guilt at this point! I know I did. Stay calm, their teeth won’t drop out at this revelation, I promise. Based on what Dr Hughes advised, here’s how I’ve started to switch things up for the better.
1. CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE
The primary reason to brush before breakfast is to remove bacteria that’s built up while you’ve been asleep. This bacteria is to blame for poor oral health and it lives off food. Brushing after breakfast means not only are you feeding this bacteria, you’re scrubbing it right in, too!
2. DON’T RINSE
After brushing, be careful not to over rinse! You want the flouride from your toothpaste to protect and strengthen your tooth enamel. Flouride is also antibacterial and helps rebuild and reverse the process of tooth decay. Over rinsing with water, washes all the goodness away. While Dr Hughes advises not to swallow toothpaste and to always supervise young children when brushing, he says there’s no evidence to suggest it’s poisonous.
3. USE A MOUTHWASH
Dr Hughes states that using a mouthwash isn’t a necessity for many, unless you suffer from gum or root disease. It’s mainly psychological. And he’s absolutely right. Since switching up our routine, we’re still weirded out by not brushing after a bowl of cereal or toast – so swilling out with a flouride mouthwash after, does the trick.
4. FLOSS, FLOSS, FLOSS
Cleaning in between your teeth is essential. Dr Hughes couldn’t stress enough, how vital it is to do this daily and preferably after every meal.
Brushing beforehand doesn’t mean you can eat and run.
You still have to remove (but not brush) food from your teeth – and flossing is the best way. You can totally see how snacking and grazing throughout the day can contribute to so many dental problems, innit? If you don’t remove food debris afterwards, the bacteria is basically being drip-fed all day long…
5. TONGUE SCRAPE
Why? You guessed it – to remove bacteria. Most tooth brushes have ridges on the reverse and it’s for this purpose. Dr Hughes suggests “combing it out like a carpet, once a day.”
*WIN A FOREO ISSA 2 TOOTHBRUSH WORTH £149
Finally, here’s something to get you on your way to improving your oral hygiene habits.
For a chance to win a FOREO ISSA 2 electric toothbrush worth £149, all you have to do is scroll down and comment below. Simples!
I was sent an ISSA 2 a couple of months ago to review and along with Dr Hughes advice, it’s totally changed the way I brush and look at oral health.
Unlike a normal electric toothbrush – which oscillates with abrasive bristles – this one pulsate, which is much gentler and healthier for gums while still effectively cleaning the teeth by removing plaque and preventing cavities and tartar.
And, I still can’t get over the fact that it only requires one charge per year!
I know, right?!
Certain mobile companies – which will remain nameless – need to get onto this, innit! *cough
Thanks for reading, happy brushing and GOOD LUCK!
FOREO ISSA 2 |£149 and FOREO ISSA 2 Sensitive | £169 | Available in Pink, Black, Blue and Mint
*Please read The FT Times’ competition terms and conditions…
*Entry to this competition is free and open to UK residents and The FT Times subscribers only aged 18 and over and excludes those professionally associated with The FT Times or the Promoter
*The competition starts at 07:00am on 03/05/18 and closes at midnight on the 10/05/18
*The Promoter’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants
*The winner will be picked at random and notified by 9pm on 11/05/18
*The prize, a FOREO ISSA 2 Toothbrush in MINT is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative
*The Promoter is FOREO LTD LAWFORD HOUSE, ALBERT PLACE, LONDON N3 1QA