Maintaining good dental hygiene is integral to keeping both your teeth and gums in good shape, but even the most diligent brushers may make mistakes that threaten their oral health. Here are some of the most frequent brushing mistakes people make and ways to overcome them.
One of the most frequent brushing mistakes is brushing too hard, often mistaken for more effective plaque and bacteria removal. But this may damage tooth enamel and irritate gums. It can even cause gum recession to expose the roots of teeth, leading to sensitivity and decay.
To avoid making this error, it's best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush with gentle, circular motions when cleaning your teeth. Instead of applying too much pressure with too little bristle coverage, let the bristles do all the hard work themselves!
Another common brushing mistake is not brushing long enough. Many people rush through their routine, spending only seconds per tooth; this leaves behind plaque and bacteria buildup on each tooth that increases your risk for cavities and gum disease.
To make sure you are brushing for an adequate length of time, aim to brush for at least two minutes twice daily. To keep track of how long you have brushed for, set a reminder or sing songs—whatever works for you to keep track of time!
Many people miss the hard-to-reach areas, such as back molars and inside surfaces of teeth, when brushing. Unfortunately, these hard-to-reach places can quickly become affected with plaque buildup despite regular brushing sessions and can even require medical intervention to clean.
To avoid making this error, position your toothbrush toward the gumline and use short back-and-forth or circular motions to cover all surfaces of your teeth. Don't forget to brush your tongue and roof of your mouth as well to eliminate bacteria and freshen up your breath!
One of the more frequent mistakes when it comes to brushing is using an old, worn-out toothbrush. Over time, your brush bristles will fray, becoming less effective at doing a good job of clearing away plaque and bacteria from your body.
Avoid this mistake by replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or when its bristles start fraying. An electric toothbrush is also useful, as many models come equipped with timers and pressure sensors to ensure you're getting a thorough cleaning session.
Finally, some individuals forget to rinse their mouths after brushing. While brushing will remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, it can leave behind debris in your mouth that needs to be rinsed away afterward.
To avoid this pitfall, always rinsing your mouth thoroughly after brushing with water or using an antiseptic mouthwash can help kill any remaining bacteria and freshen up your breath.
Maintaining good dental hygiene is vital to keeping both teeth and gums healthy. By avoiding common brushing mistakes, you can ensure you're making the most out of your brushing regimen. Remember to brush for at least two minutes twice each day and clean all surfaces of your teeth, including hard-to-reach areas. Remember to also replace your toothbrush regularly and rinse out after each session of brushing. These tips will ensure your smile will stay bright for years.