Dr. James Ko's commitment to excellence shines through his achievements as a Doctor of Dental Surgery, paired with a Master's in Science, both earned from the esteemed University of Toronto. His research has delved into the realm of Biomaterials, leading to a published paper focusing on the interplay between dental implant surfaces and bone. Dr. Ko's patient-centred approach is exceptional, as he invests time in building strong connections with patients, alleviating their concerns, and offering practical strategies to enhance their dental well-being. Embracing a holistic approach, he caters to patients of diverse age groups.
Many, if not most periodontal diseases are caused by not brushing your teeth enough, both in quantity and quality. We all know how annoying and painful the visit to the dentist for a procedure can be, and we would want to avoid it as much as we can.
Brushing your teeth regularly at least twice a day is fairly obvious, but it’s just as important to brush your teeth the right way.
Here, we will share the 7 most common brushing mistakes done by many of us, and how to fix them.
Let’s start with the first one.
When shopping for a toothbrush, we are often bombarded with all the different options promising “the best possible technologies for your oral hygiene”. Yet, using the wrong toothbrush can do you more harm than good, and especially damage the gum if you are not careful.
While there are so many different shapes, styles, sizes, and technologies from these toothbrushes, there are several main considerations
It’s common to think that the harder the bristles, the more they’ll clean, but most dentists will say otherwise: choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid gum injuries.
Similar to the case about bristles, brushing harder isn’t necessarily better.
Scrubbing our teeth too hard is also one of the most common mistakes done by a lot of people, which is understandable since that’s the way it is with other similar cleaning activities: when we go hard at it, it cleans better.
However, plaque and food debris are relatively loose and soft, so hard scrubbing isn’t necessary most of the time.
Instead, think of toothbrushing as massaging your teeth: do it softly with just a little amount of pressure. Brushing too hard might damage your gums, and also the surfaces of your teeth that might lead to decay.
The gum line is an area where bacteria often accumulates, and yet also the area we often forget to brush.
We should brush the area just under the gum tissue, 1 to three millimeters under the gum. This is why we need a toothbrush with soft and flexible bristles that are able to bend.
To do this, hold the bush at a 45-degree angle just against the gumline, and use up-down strokes to softly. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue, since this is also an area frequented by bacteria.
Last but not least, you should also cover the inside (tongue-side) parts of your teeth, as well as the gumline.
Bacteria and plaque accumulations on the gumline can lead to inflammation and various kinds of oral diseases, so don’t neglect this area of your mouth.
First, maintaining your toothbrush is actually pretty simple: simple rinse it with water after each use and let it air dry.
In most cases, avoid using a toothbrush cover since if not cleaned properly, the cover can be a place for bacteria to linger.
Also, another common mistake is not picking a new toothbrush quick enough. It’s often that people keep using the same toothbrush until they are at the dentist for one reason or another and are told to replace.
Using an old toothbrush can do you more harm than good, since old bristles won’t be as effective and might damage your gum if you’re not careful. In general, we should change our brush every couple of months or so, or when the bristles are visibly splaying outwards.
Some people go strictly up and down with their brushing, some others brush in tiny circles, as well as other similar mistakes.
Admittedly, we often got these bad habits from dentists and oral hygienists, so the mistake is not always our own. The periodontal science is still evolving, and nowadays, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends to first hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums, and then gently brush your teeth with a short back and forth motion.
Use this back and forth motion to brush both the inner and outer surfaces of the teeth, and switch to up and down motion for the front teeth while tilting the brush vertically.
Read more: Dental check up procedure
It’s a common mistake to brush too soon just after we finished our meal, often through guilt after we ate too much, or some people just couldn’t wait to get rid of food remnants, especially when they are sticky or unpleasant.
However, after a meal, we often have acid sitting in our mouth, while our toothpastes are often made of abrasive materials. When combined, acid and abrasives can erode and damage your tooth.
So, wait at least 15 to 20 minutes so your saliva can naturally break down the acid before you brush.
If you absolutely need to brush, however, the alternative is to rinse out your mouth with water several times to get rid of some of that acid.
Some people make the mistake of rushing through your brushing, which often occurs when we are in a hurry, like when we are late for school or work or when you are absolutely tired and just want to get on that bed.
However, brushing too fast will translate to not cleaning enough, and you might also injure your gum or teeth in the process if you are using fast stroking movements.
In general, brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. You can use a timer, play a song that is around 2 minutes long, or even watch a video to make sure.
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can help maintain oral hygiene and avoid painful periodontal diseases. However, regular visits to the dentist every six months are still necessary, and dentists at Markham Smile Centre can make you feel at home in providing you with professional periodontal advice and treatments.
Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.
Everyone here is very friendly and provides excellent care. I received a full exam on my first visit, and everyone took time to answer my questions and ensured I felt comfortable the entire time - exactly what you want when visiting the dentist. I highly recommend Markham Smile Centre for anyone looking for great dental care.
There is an ample parking space before you get into the office. The receptionists welcome us friendly with proper COVID-19 procedures in place. The staff worked with patient very patiently and professionally. My teeth cleaning was done by Ying, she explained every detail to me and I did not feel any pain or uncomfortable at all. Thanks to the best team !
It's been a while since I've been to a dentist but I'm trying to get back on track with health in general. Overall it was great going to Markham Smile Centre! The receptionist (I believe she was Kim) was friendly. The hygienist, Ying, was attentive and gentle during the cleaning; x-ray tech (forgot her name, sorry!) was great too. Dr. Sara Riad explained things with good detail. Looking forward to going back!
I was someone who was nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist, but the team at Markham Smile Centre has made me feel SO comfortable. Kim is so patient and helpful and Dr. Hwang and Rory are both so professional and wonderful. They thoroughly explain the procedure to make you comfortable beforehand and are very gentle. I now look forward to visiting the dentist!
I found this place on a whim when I was looking for a new dentist in Markham. My hygienist ying was super nice and her cleaning was very gentle yet thorough. I saw Dr.Jason and he was very nice and informative in regards to what needs to be done and provided me with all the information I needed to make a choice. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new dentist, they’re accepting new patients!!
I have been to many dentists in my life, Dr. Jason is easily the best dentist I have ever been too. He does everything he can to make you comfortable no matter the procedure and is a true professional, as does all the staff at Markham Smile Centre. Truly an amazing dentistry
The clinic was clean and the staff was very polite. I particularly liked the fact that everything was explained to me before going in for the procedure so I knew what to expect at each step. The dental hygienist who did the cleaning for me was also very gentle and took my concerns into consideration. I will definitely recommend them.
Upon arriving to the Markham Smile Centre, my son and I were greeted with a warm welcome by the receptionists. The hygienists and Dentist were very gentle and transparent with what they were doing. The hygienist that worked on my 9 year old son was patient and very friendly with him, which helped ease his nerves. Our overall experience was A+.
Since I was little, I have always hated going to the dentist... Its always uncomfortable and unpleasant. These days, visiting the dentist isn’t so bad! Dr Jason, Rory, and the lovely staff at reception make the experience 100x better. I have had absolutely no issues with the gum graft and cleanings that I’ve gotten done here. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, even when I’m calling in or emailing a hundred questions :). I would highly recommend Markham Smile Centre.
Love this place! All the staffs are friendly and Professional and I mean all, cause I've been to most of their office, Markham , Stouffville, North York, and Maple. Dr. Ko is very professional and patient. Whenever I have questions and concerns he would always reply me . I would say this this dental office take care of you all the way. I would highly recommend everyone to come here for any dental works. =)