Brush Better Than Ever Before
Although you may have been brushing your teeth for decades, it’s likely that you have fallen into some tooth brushing mistakes after so long. At Monroe Family Dentistry, our primary goal is to ensure our patients are caring for their teeth outside of their twice annual dental visits. The list below highlights 9 common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth.
You’re Using the Wrong Toothbrush
With the dozens upon dozens of toothbrush options available in drugstores, it’s hard to know if there is a “right” toothbrush to select. Most of us probably just choose based on color or brand without thinking much about the design.
Try a variety of different kinds of brushes until you find one that works for you. Ideally, you need to be able to reach to the back molars easily. For some, an electric toothbrush may be the best fit. And don’t hesitate to talk with Dr. Mjahed if you have trouble finding the right fit.
You Don’t Change Your Toothbrush often Enough
The average lifespan of a toothbrush is three to four months. A good rule of thumb and way to remember to change your toothbrush is to swap out for a new one as the seasons change. Once brush bristles become frayed or worn out, they harbor bacteria and won’t keep your teeth clean.
You’re Not Brushing Long Enough
Most people brush their teeth for an average of 45 seconds, when we really should be brushing for two full minutes. Anything shorter than two minutes does not allow for the fluoride in the toothpaste to attach to the enamel in your teeth. Try setting a timer, like the one on your phone, to ensure that you get the right duration each and every time you brush.
You Rinse Your Mouth out After Brushing
So many of us spit out our toothpaste and then rinse with water immediately after. This is a mistake. Once we rinse with water, we’re also making the fluoride less efficient. Instead of rinsing with water, reach for a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
You Skip Flossing…
Just as important as brushing our teeth is flossing them once per day. Most adults forgo flossing, citing laziness, however it’s crucial to our overall dental hygiene. Bushing alone doesn’t remove the plaque in between our teeth and gums. Plaque that sits for long periods of time can eventually lead to gum disease.
…and Cleaning Your Tongue
Our tongues are hosts to tons of bacteria, so invest in a tongue scraper to clean your tongue after every brushing. You can also use your toothbrush to scrape your tongue clean, but it doesn’t do as good of a job as a tongue scraper. One of the causes of bad bread is all that bacteria on our tongues, so cleaning them will help eliminate embarrassing odors from our mouths.
Your Tooth Brushing Technique is Incorrect
The proper way to thoroughly brush teeth is in a circular motion with the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Circles, rather than back and forth motion are more effective at reaching the spaces in between our teeth, and also slow us down. Angle your brush toward the gum line and use a gentle motion as you make your way around your mouth, ensuring you cover all the chewing surfaces, front teeth, and the back of the teeth.
You’re Brushing too Hard
It may seem counterintuitive to brush our teeth gently, but there’s truly no need to use hard pressure. The bacteria and any leftover food will come off just fine with gentle brushing, either followed or preceded by flossing. Too much pressure can cause damage to the gums.
You Store your Toothbrush Improperly
Avoid keeping your toothbrush in an enclosed container. Though it may seem like it’s keeping bacteria out, what it is actually doing is trapping it inside, allowing germs to throw a little party on your toothbrush. Instead, store it upright in and let it air dry in the open.
Follow these guidelines to avoid making common toothbrushing mistakes. If you want more tips on better oral care at home or have other questions for Dr. Mjahed, give us a call. We proudly serve the Monroe, NC community and are here to help you achieve a beautiful smile.
Come See Us At Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC
Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.