Brushing your teeth is an essential component of oral hygiene, and correctly brushing your teeth prevents gum disease and keeps your breath fresh. If you’re brushing your teeth incorrectly, however, you could be damaging your teeth and gums.
Preventive care is vital in avoiding tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss. Regular dental cleanings plus properly brushing your teeth keeps your mouth healthy and saves you money on future dental visits. At Hometown Family Dental Centers in Vass, Raeford, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, our dental experts make your oral health a top priority.
Brushing your teeth is something you learn at a very young age because good oral health is a pillar of overall well-being. Have you been making these common mistakes?
Common toothbrushing mistakes you can fix
Small changes in your toothbrushing routine can improve your oral health. Here are four common mistakes you might be making when brushing your teeth and some helpful tips to correct them.
Brushing too long or too hard
If you’re brushing your teeth longer than two minutes, you could end up with sensitive teeth and receding gums. Longer isn’t better, and neither is harder. Brushing too hard can injure your gums and wear down your enamel, the tooth’s protective outer barrier.
Gentler is better. The plaque on your teeth is soft and loose, so it comes off easily without the need for rough or forceful brushing. Be gentle when brushing your teeth and massaging your gums. If you’re using enough pressure to break the soft skin of a ripe tomato, you’re brushing too hard.
Using the wrong toothbrush
The best toothbrush isn’t one with stiff and hard bristles. The better choice for everyone is a soft toothbrush with flexible bristles that get to your gumline and clean deeply. If bristles are too stiff, you run the risk of damaging your gums and tooth enamel, making toothbrushing a painful chore.
Also take note of the size of your toothbrush head. It should fit inside your mouth comfortably while you move it around. If it feels too small or too large, you’re not cleaning optimally.
Additionally, make sure to replace your toothbrush every three or four months. An old toothbrush doesn’t get your teeth as clean. When you notice bristles have lost their color or shape, start using a new brush.
Not brushing long enough
Toothbrushing might not be a task you relish, but it’s still best to brush a minimum of twice a day for two minutes each time. Two minutes may seem like a lifetime if you’re late for work or exhausted from a long day. However, if you aren’t brushing for two full minutes, your oral hygiene suffers.
The simplest tip is to use an egg timer or the timer on your phone. You can also choose a music playlist of songs that are close to the two-minute mark, and listen to a new song each time you brush. Some electric toothbrushes have a timer built in; check the manufacturer’s instructions if you aren’t sure.
Brushing only the visible surfaces of your teeth
The most important part of brushing your teeth is removing bacteria or other debris from your gumline. And that means gently brushing around every tooth, even if people don’t see the backs or sides of your teeth when you smile.
Instead of approaching toothbrushing as simply scrubbing the fronts of your teeth, think of toothbrushing as massaging your gums. By using your toothbrush as a gum massager, you can focus on slowly and steadily getting your whole mouth clean every morning and evening.
At Hometown Family Dental Centers, we want to help you keep your mouth healthy. Make sure you’re visiting us twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. If you experience pain or discomfort between appointments, call us right away.
To schedule your next visit, call the office that’s convenient to you, or use this secure form to request an appointment online.