Most of us think we know how to brush our teeth, as we’ve been doing it since we were kids and almost automatically, but the truth is that there are many common brushing mistakes we make without even realizing it, negatively affecting our oral health.
The main problem with brushing incorrectly is that it allows bacteria to grow freely around your teeth, causing tooth decay, gum disease and many other oral health issues that can only be prevented through effective brushing techniques. Find out more about which tooth brushing mistakes to avoid.
Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making
Using your toothbrush for too long
Toothbrushes need to be replaced at least every three months. As something that should be used everyday, their bristles start fraying and breaking after a while, making the task of properly cleaning your teeth harder.
Picking the wrong toothbrush
Once it’s time to change to a new toothbrush, a common brushing mistake to avoid is picking the wrong one, meaning one that is too small or too big for your mouth or one with bristles that are too hard and can damage delicate gum tissue.
Look for toothbrushes marked as soft and choose a size or shape that fits easily into your mouth and provides good and easy access to every area of it.
Brushing too hard and too quickly
Many people tend to think that by adding more force into their brushing that they are helping remove bacteria and plaque better, however, this may actually be causing damage to your gums and wearing away at the protective enamel covering your teeth.
The proper way to brush your teeth is to do so as lightly as possible, as if it were a massage more than a scrubbing technique.
Additionally, your tooth brushing time should be at least twice a day for two minutes to get the most out of your brushing experience.
Brushing in circles
Although many of us have been instructed since we were kids that brushing in circles is the right technique, the ADA recommends a different approach to get all of the plaque off. This involves gently moving your brush back and forth in short strokes, while reaching the outer and inner surfaces of each tooth and the chewing surfaces.
In the case of front teeth, you should apply several up-and-down strokes with the brush in a vertical position in order to properly remove all of the debris and plaque.
Forgetting to brush your tongue
The tongue also accumulates plenty of bacteria, so brushing it properly should be an important part of your routine. Once you’re done brushing your teeth, drag the toothbrush across the tongue to remove bacteria or use a brush with a tongue scraper on the back of it.
Skipping the floss
While flossing can be a time consuming task, it is also one of the main things you can do in order to maintain great oral health throughout the rest of your life. Flossing at least once a day is mandatory, given that toothbrushes aren’t enough to get all of the tooth decaying bacteria and food remains that can accumulate between your teeth and gum line.
By knowing which tooth brushing mistakes to avoid, you’re putting yourself on track to better oral health, making sure your smile shine bright for many years to come.