You've been cleaning your teeth all wrong – and it could prove fatal, dentists warn | The Sun

WHEN it comes to your dental routine, you might think you've got it nailed down.

But dentists have warned that you might actually be cleaning your teeth wrong, increasing your risk of potentially life-threatening illness.

While most people know they need to brush their nashers twice a day in order to avoid poor oral hygiene, one expert said many forget to floss.

Guidance from the NHS states that flossing is important as it can remove bits of food from between your teeth, preventing gum disease.

Dr Sameer Patel explained that flossing also removes plaque from below the gumline, which can erode tooth enamel and cause tartar.

The expert, who is the founder of Elleven Dental in London, added that incorporating this into your routine can reduce the risk of gingivitis, cavities and the likelihood of gum inflammation.

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"Increasingly, studies show the importance of flossing for neurological and cardiac health as well," he told the MailOnline.

Experts at Harvard Medical School warn gum disease is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

They state that study after study has shown that those who have poor oral health and suffer with issues such as gum disease or tooth loss, often have higher rates of heart attacks and strokes than people who have good oral health.

They explained: "Studies have linked periodontal disease (especially if due to infection with a bacterium called porphyromonas gingivalis) and rheumatoid arthritis.

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"In addition, a 2018 study found a link between this same bacterium and risk of pancreatic cancer. "

Dr Nigel Carter, head of the British Dental Foundation previously said that pool oral hygiene can increase inflammation throughout the body.

"It can trigger the release of a large number of chemicals known as mediators, which are the same causes of the inflammation implicated in heart disease", he told The Independent.

A study published in 2008 by experts at the University of Bristol also found that if bacteria gets into the bloodstream through the gums, then they can combine with platelets in the blood to create blood clots.

London-based dentist Dr Monik Vasant previously said that it's especially important that people with type 2 diabetes look after their oral hygiene.

Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as a silent killer as many people with it often have no symptoms at all.

This can leave people at risk of developing serious complications of the condition, including stroke, heart disease, blindness, kidney disease and amputation, Diabetes UK states.

Timing is key

Dr Safa Al-Naher added that you might have been brushing your teeth wrong if you've not been giving them a good clean before bed time.

While you should be brushing them twice each day, the expert said if you can only fit it in once, then you should be doing it before you go to sleep.

This is down to the fact that overnight, soft food particles can harden on teeth – making it near impossible to be removed with brushing alone.

"We recommend brushing twice a day. If you are only going to brush once a day, make sure it's at night before bed at the end of the day," Dr Safa added.

Dr Patel said that you might also be putting your health at risk if you're cleaning your pearly whites right after you've eaten breakfast.

He said that overnight, the mouth accumulates a lot of bacteria.

Then at breakfast, what we consume can feed this bacteria, which then attacks the tooth's enamel.

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If you brush straight after eating, this acid is able to penetrate the teeth, causing more damage, he said.

"It's important to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste first thing in the morning, before you eat," he advised.

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