8 Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes and How to Correct Them
Tooth brushing is a daily habit to most people and, because they do it so often, it is easy not to think about it. Many people may be brushing their teeth the wrong way and not even realize it. Dr. Amanda Ganshert and Dr. Robert Konen at Downtown Family Dental of Baraboo want to make sure you are taking the best care of your teeth by reviewing our office’s list of top tooth brushing tips. So we have written an article about 8 Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes and How to Correct Them.
• Have the right toothbrush. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are one of the best ways to protect tooth enamel and gums. Stiffer bristle toothbrushes may be too harsh, especially if you have a tendency to brush too hard. If you are wondering whether it is better to go with an electric toothbrush or a manual… the answer is, whichever type of brush you prefer AND whichever type brush is going to keep you brushing regularly. That said, if you have difficulty reaching all areas of your teeth, an electric model might be right for you.
• Watch and work on your technique. Ideally a person should hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle while making short, up-and-down strokes. Be sure to brush all areas of your teeth, especially those hard-to-reach back molar areas. Oh, and don’t forget to brush your tongue.
• Brush for at least two minutes twice a day. When a person thinks of using “two minutes” of time, it seems the blink of an eye. However, when it comes to brushing teeth, “two minutes” can feel like an eternity and, as a result of this misperception, many people fall short of the two minute rule. Try dividing your mouth into four areas and spend 30 seconds brushing each one. Do not over brush; this could lead to sore gums and other issues. Also, don’t forget to switch up your technique. As an example, start brushing in different areas each time you brush to avoid becoming bored with your routine.
• Brush enough, not TOO much. Brushing two to three times a day is ideal, but more than this might actually be counterproductive. Over brushing could cause tooth enamel and gum tissue to wear away, exposing you to further dental problems. Also, remember to use a light touch. It doesn’t take aggressive brushing to remove plaque.
• Keep your sweet tooth and sour cravings under control. Foods and beverages like fruit juices, coffee, candies, and soda all contain high amounts of acid that can have a seriously damaging effect on the enamel of your teeth. If you do indulge in something sugary or acidic, try to neutralize some of the remaining acid in your mouth by drinking water shortly after you have finished. Also, be sure to wait at least half an hour before you brush to give your saliva a chance to wash away the acid and re-harden softened enamel. Brushing immediately after eating or drinking an enamel-softening food could make enamel wear away faster.
• Choose the right toothpaste. Do you have sensitive teeth, higher decay rate, stain, weak tooth enamel? Well, don’t worry… there is a toothpaste out there to for you. Just make sure that the toothpaste you are using is the best fit for your needs. Our office has many different samples of toothpaste and, based on your specific needs, Dr. Ganshert and Dr. Konen will help guide you to the right one.
• Keep your toothbrush clean. Always rinse your brush after use to keep germs and extra toothpaste at bay. Avoid storing your toothbrush in a case where it will stay wet as a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria. Also, after rinsing with water, allow it to air dry upright in a toothbrush holder, not on the counter.
• Replace your toothbrush regularly. You should replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Toothbrushes with broken or frayed bristles are not as effective at removing plaque. Once you notice these signs in your toothbrush, it is time to get a fresh one. With routine and correct brushing, you can enjoy fresh breath and a healthy smile for years to come.
We hope you have enjoyed learning about 8 Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes and How to Correct Them.