There’s an art to brushing your teeth. When it comes to your oral health, there are many opportunities for you to go wrong.
Ten Mistakes To Avoid When Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing Your Teeth too Quickly
An average person only brushes his teeth for 45 seconds. According to dentists, that’s not long enough to make a difference. You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes. When you do, you give the fluoride time to attach to the enamel of your teeth.
The next time you brush your teeth, think about the spots you neglect. It’s likely that there are a few parts of your mouth that don’t get brushed well enough. For two minutes, attempt to clean every square inch of tooth and gum in your mouth.
If you have a hard time estimating two minutes, use a timer. Some toothbrushes have timers in them. You can also use a stopwatch or an app on your phone.
Using Old Toothbrushes
If you use a toothbrush for too long, then it won’t be effective. Over time, your toothbrush frays and bristles break. This makes brushing less effective. Your toothbrush won’t be able to remove plaque effectively. As a result, you could develop cavities.
Fraying isn’t the only issue. As time passes, your toothbrush accumulates bacteria and food particles. When you brush, you introduce those unwanted materials into your mouth.
In an ideal world, you should replace your toothbrush every 200 uses. If you brush your teeth two times each day for seven days a week, you should replace it every three months.
Storing Your Toothbrush on Your Bathroom Counter
You brush your teeth in the bathroom, so why wouldn’t you store your toothbrush there? Sadly, there’s one major reason you should avoid keeping your toothbrush on the bathroom counter – feces.
When you flush your toilet, everything in it splashes around. This includes your feces. It can become airborne and land on your toothbrush.
If you want to avoid feces from landing on your toothbrush, you need to store it somewhere else. Instead of leaving it on the counter, put a lid on it and store it in a drawer. Some modern toothbrushes even come with cleaning kits.
Rinsing with Water
Most people rinse their mouths after they brush their teeth. However, this is a critical mistake. When you rinse your mouth, it removes some of the fluoride from your teeth.
The fluoride protects your teeth. Therefore, you want it to stay there long enough for it to bond to your enamel. Avoid rinsing if you want brushing to be effective.
If you feel the need to rinse, you can use a mouthwash. Avoid drinking or eating anything until about 30 minutes has passed.
Forgetting to Floss
Although many individuals are diligent about brushing their teeth, those same individuals often forget to floss. Flossing is an important habit for individuals who want a healthy smile.
When you brush your teeth, you can only reach certain parts of your mouth. On the other hand, flossing gives you access to all of the cracks. As you floss, you remove plaque from the cracks. Whether you use the traditional string floss or the individual floss sticks, the result is the same.
If you don’t floss, that plaque stays there and turns into hard deposits. The result is unhealthy, damaged teeth.
Ignoring Your Tongue
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth is ignoring your tongue. Your tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria. If you don’t brush it, the bacteria will multiply. It can cause bad breath and oral diseases.
You can brush your tongue with your toothbrush. However, it won’t get all of the bacteria off. The best way to remove unwanted bacteria from your tongue is to use a tongue scraper. It’s a quick and easy way to keep your tongue clean and your breath fresh.
Brushing Back and Forth
Think about the way in which you brush your teeth. If you use a back and forth motion, then you’re doing it wrong. You should use a circular motion. It’s more gentle and will ensure that you get your gums clean.
As you brush, make sure you’re brushing your gum line. You should also be careful not to apply too much pressure. Tilt your brush to get in hard-to-reach spots between your teeth and gum line. When you angle your brush the right way, you become a more effective brusher.
Using Very Hard Bristles
When it comes to brushing your teeth, gentle is the way to go. Brushing with hard bristles can do damage to your gums. Additionally, it can remove the enamel from your teeth. This leaves your teeth susceptible to cavities. It also causes sensitive teeth and gums.
As you shop for a new toothbrush, look for one with soft bristles. You can even opt for extra soft bristles; it will still get the job done.
Sticking to the Same Routine
Every day, you might brush your teeth the same way. After all, it’s muscle memory. Unfortunately, this is a mistake. You could be missing out on parts of your mouth.
Change up your routine and try new ways of brushing. As a result, you could have healthier teeth.
Brushing Too Frequently
Some people are strong advocates of frequent brushing. However, doing so can do more harm than good. Brushing more than twice a day can wear on your enamel. As it breaks down, your teeth become vulnerable.
Stick to brushing twice a day and flossing. When you do, you prevent plaque from building up. You also prevent your enamel from getting too weak to do its job.
Getting a Little Extra Help
These mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth can lead you to healthier teeth. However, you’re not alone. Your dentist can also help you keep your teeth healthy and clean.
Contact us at Century Stone Dental and schedule your next appointment.
No matter your age, dental condition, and if you have a million questions, Dr. Sims can assist you or your young children in a professional manner and loves answering any of your questions or concerns.
Dr. Sims grew up in Grimsby playing basketball, so he’s always up for talking about the Raptors! He’s also a football fan - go Buffalo Bills! In his free time, if he’s not watching a basketball game or football game, you’ll likely find him working out, cooking (got any new recipe ideas?), and of course, spending time with his amazing family.