Most Hendricks County residents know they need to brush their teeth daily. However, many people just aren’t brushing their teeth as they should. In fact, they’re making several tooth brushing mistakes. If you’re making any of these errors, learn how you can fix your tooth brushing habits below.
- Using the Wrong Toothbrush. It doesn’t matter whether you use a manual toothbrush or a powered one. However, you need to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles since they can clean your teeth more effectively. Soft bristles bend easily to get into places between your teeth and under your gums to remove plaque and food debris. Plaque can cause gum disease and lead to tooth decay. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can actually wear down your teeth’s structure. Also, you should consider the size of the brush’s head. If you have a smaller mouth, a smaller brush head will be more comfortable and easier to use. Always look for the American Dental Association seal of approval on your new toothbrush, too.
- Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard. You don’t have to scrub your teeth like you’re cleaning tile grout. Plaque is soft and loose, so gentle brushing is effective.
- Brushing with a Back and Forth Motion. Many people brush their teeth incorrectly in a left to right motion along their teeth. This motion can damage the teeth. To correctly brush, you should start at your gums, going in small circular, up-and-down motions.
- Forgetting to Brush Your Teeth and Tongue Completely. Brushing your teeth doesn’t just mean the fronts of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush the backside of your teeth along your tongue, too. Also, bacteria often gather along the gum line. Angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to brush your teeth below your gums. Also, tilt your brush while brushing up and down to reach the inside of your front teeth. And, don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria there as well.
- Rushing While You Brush. At Danville Family Dentistry, we want all our Hendricks County patients to brush their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Set the timer on your cell phone for 2 minutes. Or, since the average pop song is about 2 minutes, listen to one of your favorite songs while you brush. And, at least once a day, floss and use mouthwash, too.
- Brushing Too Soon After You Eat or Drink. While you may want to brush right after your meal, it’s best to wait about 15 or 20 minutes. Otherwise, your toothbrushing can help the acids in your mouth erode your tooth enamel away. By waiting, you give your saliva time to remove the acids in your mouth before you brush. If you can’t wait, at least rinse out your mouth with water before you brush.
- Hanging onto Your Toothbrush Too Long. When the bristles on your toothbrush fray, it won’t work has effectively. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or when the bristles look bent, discolored, or dirty looking. Also, store your toothbrush in the open air. This will prevent mold and bacteria growth.
By following these tips, you can help protect your teeth from the damaging effects of plaque and bacteria. However, the staff at Danville Family Dentistry also recommends you come into our Hendricks County office every six months for a dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning. This way we can assess your teeth and make recommendations for preventative and restorative dental care. Contact our office at 317-745-4400 today to schedule your appointment.
Remember, by correcting your tooth brushing mistakes, you can be on your way to a beautiful smile.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.