Brushing your teeth is a crucial step in your oral health. We all do it. But many of us run into the same common pitfalls, which can lead to cavities and even gum disease. So what are these common toothbrushing mistakes?
Common Toothbrushing Mistakes
1) Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Your toothbrush should feel comfortable when you use it. Brushing your teeth shouldn’t be a painful or an uncomfortable endeavor.
“If you are straining to open wide enough to let the brush in, the brush is probably too big,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, the consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. “The more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly.”
Another important aspect of the address when choosing a toothbrush is the bristles. If they are too stiff, they can aggravate the gums. Because of this, the ADA recommends soft bristles.
”Bristles should be sturdy enough to remove plaque but not hard enough to damage [the teeth] when used properly,” Price says. He doesn’t recommend “natural” bristles such as those made from animal hair or boar bristle.
2) Relying on an Electric Toothbrush to do the Work for you
“It’s not the toothbrush, it’s the brusher,” says Price.
A person who brushes well with a regular toothbrush will be just as effective as someone using an electric toothbrush. With that being said, you cannot rely on an electric toothbrush to do all the work for you. You still have to be diligent.
3) Not Brushing Enough
It is generally recommended that people brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes per brushing. Anything less could put you, your teeth, and your gums at risk as bacterial plaque builds up with too much time between brushing.
4) Brushing Too Often or Too Hard
While it may seem like a good idea, brushing too furiously can actually hurt your teeth and gums. Excessive brushing could irritate the gums and expose the root of the tooth to irritation.
5) Brushing Incorrectly
Yes, there is actually a correct way to brush. Do you know what it is? If not, you are not alone. Improperly brushing is one of the most commons mistakes people make when brushing their teeth.
When brushing, you should be sure to do the following:
- Aim your bristles at the gumline at a 45-degree angle
- Use short strokes or vibrations
- Softly brush up and down your teeth, not across
- The strokes should be vertical or circular, not horizontal
- Be sure to brush outer and inner tooth surfaces and your tongue
Check back next week as we unveil the final five Common Toothbrushing Mistakes!
If you have any questions about Oral Health, or if you wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Annapolis Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today!
For over 20 years, Dr. Steckler and his team have been practicing comprehensive Family Dental Care. Our outstanding staff is devoted to caring for your oral situation and will ensure your dental visit is an enjoyable one, focusing on total patient comfort. We are motivated to offer cutting edge dentistry techniques and processes. Our committed staff will guide you in your pursuit of the perfect smile.
“At Dr. Steckler’s office, we understand that most patients are fearful of the dentist. Your comfort and care are our greatest concern.”