Brushing your teeth correctly is very important in maintaining good oral health. Even if you brush twice a day and feel like it’s second nature, you might not be cleaning your teeth correctly, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Are you making any of these mistakes?
- You’re brushing with the wrong-sized toothbrush
It’s important to choose a toothbrush that fits the size of your mouth. If you find yourself straining to open your mouth wide enough for the toothbrush, it’s probably too big. Your toothbrush should feel natural in your mouth and in your hand.
- You don’t brush often enough or long enough
You should be brushing at least twice per day and three times is ideal. It’s also important to brush for at least two minutes. Make sure you give each section of your mouth equal attention.
- You brush too hard
You must be gentle with your teeth. It doesn’t take too much effort to remove plaque. In fact, brushing too aggressively can wear away the protective enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and other dental problems.
- You’re not brushing with the correct technique
If you brush your teeth with wide, side-to-side strokes, your gums may become scraped. Instead, hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums, make an up and down motion and use short strokes. Be sure to give those hard-to-reach places the attention they need to avoid plaque building up.
- You always brush in the same sequence
If you always begin brushing in the same place, you can get lazy and commonly miss certain spots. Start in a different place to ensure this doesn’t happen.
- You’re using the wrong toothpaste
Even if you use a certain toothpaste to control tartar or whiten your teeth, this can have other harmful affects on your mouth. Some ingredients in these kinds of toothpastes can have an abrasive effect on your teeth. Plain fluoride toothpaste is best.
- You brush too soon after consuming acidic foods and drinks
Although it is a good idea to brush your teeth after eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, make sure you wait half an hour before doing so. The acid you have just consumed softens teeth and brushing directly afterwards can assist in wearing away the enamel.
- You don’t rinse your toothbrush
If you don’t rinse your toothbrush regularly, germs and bacteria can gather on the head.
- You’re storing your toothbrush flat
Leaving your toothbrush lying flat allows germs and dust to settle on it. Keep it stored upright and let it air dry.
- You don’t change your toothbrush regularly enough
It is recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months. Once the bristles lose their regular flexibility, it is a signal that you need a new toothbrush.