Should you try brushing dry?
What is dry brushing? “Dry brushing” is when you brush your teeth without the use of water or toothpaste. The main reason that people dry brush their teeth is that it helps them to learn how to clean their teeth more efficiently and in the correct way.
Many kinds of toothpaste that you see on the shelves of your local store or supermarket may contain oils like glycerin, which will leave a coating on your teeth and tongue. This will leave your teeth feeling smoother and cleaner than they really are. This may result in you brushing your teeth for a shorter time than what is actually required. This will happen when your tongue also gets coated in the oil because it will make your teeth feel smoother against your tongue. When you are dry brushing your teeth as opposed to using toothpaste with glycerin, your tongue can really feel everything how it actually is. Dry brushing will help provide brushing accuracy due to you being able to feel the spots in your mouth that require more cleaning, unlike when using a toothpaste containing glycerin.
Another common problem while using many types of toothpaste to brush your teeth is that the minty fresh taste and cool feeling may lead you to believe your mouth and teeth are cleaner than they actually are. This minty fresh feeling you get from your toothbrush may result in you feeling like your teeth are cleaner than they actually are which will result in you missing teeth or spots and brushing your teeth less than you actually need to. If you switch to dry brushing you will often notice or find yourself brushing your teeth for longer than you normally do. This is because you are actually able to feel the bacteria and unclean parts of your mouth that still require attention. Without your toothpaste making you think your teeth are clean and fresh you will be continuing to brush them until you actually feel and have clean fresh teeth. Of course afterwards, you can use a mouthwash or mint if you really must have that sense of a fresh cool feeling mouth.
Today most toothbrushes have nylon bristles, these bristles are often soft and do not require being soaked in water before use, unlike toothbrushes of the past. In older times, toothbrush bristles were made of horsehair and other hard solid bristles. These required to be soaked in water before use due to them being so hard and sturdy, unlike today’s soft-bristled brushes. This is another reason why dry brushing our teeth is a great option. Wetting your toothbrush before using it will increase the amount of splatter you experience while brushing. Wetting your toothbrush before use will also soften the bristles even further to the point that they are less effective at brushing your teeth and removing plaque and pieces of food due to them being too soft. Consult your dentist about dry brushing and ask them if they think it is right for you or will help improve your teeth brushing technique.