Common brushing mistakes you might be making
If you’re brushing your teeth like you are scrubbing your sidewalks, you’re brushing too hard. Overzealous scouring with your toothbrush will lead to gum recession and wear on tooth surfaces and roots. Brushing mistakes can actually cause problems like gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and weakened tooth enamel.
Here are some tips to remember when brushing your teeth:
Keeping Your Toothbrush Too Long
- The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you change to a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. After about 3 months, the bristles of your teeth start to wear and do not clean as well and can irritate your gums. Also, if you’re sick, make sure to change your toothbrush.
- Brushing Too Hard
- Proper technique is important because brushing back and forth in a scrubbing motion puts you at risk for gum recession and tooth wear. A great way to know if you’re brushing too hard is to check for bristles that look flattened or frayed. If they are, you are brushing too hard. The ADA offers brushing tips here.
Improperly Storing Your Toothbrush
- Even the CDC knows the importance of toothbrushing, which is why they offer recommendations that include how to properly care for your toothbrush. Basically, it’s best to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after use and store it uncovered and upright to dry.
Rinsing with Water After Brushing
- This is a common mistake that many of us make because we want to rinse the toothpaste out of our mouths. But when you rinse it out with water, you also rinse away the fluoride that is meant to strengthen our teeth. So, instead of rinsing, just try to spit out as much as possible and wipe your mouth.
Brushing Too Fast
- According to a Journal of Dental Hygiene study, most people brush 45 seconds on average, which is far below what dental professionals recommend. Oral health professionals recommend that you brush for two minutes each time you brush.
Not Including Floss
- Your teeth have five surfaces, three surfaces that you can brush, and two in-between surfaces that your toothbrush can never reach. If you don’t include floss into your cleaning routine, you risk leaving harmful bacteria behind that can cause cavities and gum disease.
At Fox Dental we are here to be your dental health partner. If you have questions about how to brush properly, our dentists and hygienists are always happy to answer questions and offer recommendations for you to get the best out of your brushing! Call our office at 717-761-0341.