Brushing your teeth twice a day should be a part of your daily dental routine. However, it is not only important to brush your teeth twice a day, but to make sure you are doing it correctly. It is fairly common for people to make mistakes while brushing their teeth, however being aware of these mistakes can help you make changes that increase the effectiveness of your tooth brushing routine. Here are some common mistakes made while brushing, have you made any?
Brushing Too Hard
Using a toothbrush with hard bristles or brushing too hard can lead to dental problems such as enamel erosion and gum recession. Additionally, people who brush harder may also use a back and force technique that allows them to apply more pressure while brushing. The combination of all these things can be extremely detrimental to your enamel and gum health.
Instead, try looking for a toothbrush with soft bristles and the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Dental plaque is soft, so a soft bristled brush can effectively remove it while not harming the other structures. Additionally, you will also want to modify your brushing technique so that it is also softer. While brushing your teeth, start at the gums and gently move the toothbrush up and down in small circular motions. This technique removes plaque and prevents gum irritation and enamel erosion.
Another common mistake you may be making while brushing your teeth is that you are rushing to finish. Although it is only recommended to brush for two minutes, many people tend to struggle with this. Unfortunately, when you skip seconds off your brushing routine, you are increasing your risk of tooth decay.
This is because when you rush while brushing your teeth, it is very likely that you will make certain places. The most common places people miss are along the gum line and on the inside of the teet. When these places are continually missed, not only will plaque form around them, but tartar as well. Additionally, this can also cause gum inflammation or disease, especially if plaque and/or tartar accumulate along the gum line.
Rushing to brush your teeth directly after a meal can also have consequences on your oral health. After eating, your mouth is highly acidic, depending on the foods you ate. When combined with brushing, this acid can cause erosion of the enamel. To prevent this from happening, you can wait around 15-20 minutes for the saliva to neutralize the excess acids.
Using an Old Toothbrush
Just as using the wrong toothbrush can be detrimental to your oral health, so can using an old toothbrush. This is simply because old toothbrushes are worn and contain large amounts of bacteria. In most cases, you will need to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or after you have been sick. You will be able to tell when your toothbrush needs to be replaced because its bristles will be frayed, bent, or faded.
One of the final mistakes people make when brushing their teeth is to rinse their teeth with water when they are finished. It is recommended not to do this because the fluoride found in toothpaste is more effective if it is left on your teeth longer. Fluoride can improve your oral health by keeping your enamel strong and preventing tooth decay.
Dr. Quartano is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Northlake Dental Association, and has attained D.O.C.S. certification. Dr. Quartano has served as Committee Chair for the LDA Council on New Dentist since 2011. Dr. Q is also a member of Spear Faculty Club which limits its membership to just 1000 dentist worldwide. Since graduating from dental school Dr. Quartano has completed over 700 hours of post doctorate education in Implants, Oral surgery, Cosmetic dentistry, Endodontics, Invisalign, and Advanced Restorative techniques. Dr. Quartano has also completed Foundational and Core workshops at the Spear Center for Advanced Dental Education.