Are You Making These Common Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth?
You might be surprised to know how many people brush often enough but aren’t brushing in the most effective way. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that you’re one of them! At California Dental Group, we’re always happy to discuss specific oral health at-home best practices for individual patients, but we’ve found that the most commonly committed mistakes are those listed below.
Not brushing as long as we recommend
There are many electronic toothbrushes that include a timer that assures you’re brushing as long as you should. However, if you don’t have a built-in timer, you can always set your own alarm. How long would you set it for? If you’re like many people, you’d likely set it for just 30 or 45 seconds. While brushing is better than not brushing, at California Dental Group we recommend that you brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes – though three minutes is better.
Brushing much too hard
It’s true that your teeth are one of the hardest materials in your body, but that doesn’t mean you can brush as hard as you’d like. Not only can brushing too hard actually damage your teeth in the long run, but it can erode your gums. If you have sensitive gums, it can irritate them even further.
Here’s an easy way to determine if you’re brushing your teeth too hard. Take a look at your toothbrush. Are the bristles bent? If so, you’re brushing too hard. You don’t need to pretend you’re scrubbing a dirty floor when you brush. Instead, brush gently, use circular strokes, and pretend you’re polishing a delicate piece of china.
Using the wrong toothbrush
If you think all toothbrushes are created equally then you’re likely using the wrong toothbrush. You need a toothbrush that’s neither too big nor too small for your mouth. You need a brush with bristles that aren’t too hard. You need to get rid of any oversized toothbrushes you have. You need to focus on brushes with soft bristles. After all, that’s what’s recommend by the American Dental Association.
That said, don’t assume that using a soft bristled brush means you don’t have to follow the advice above to not brush too hard. Even soft bristles can result in abrasions if you don’t use them correctly. Finally, make sure that you’re not using an old toothbrush. We recommend replacing it every three months or whenever the bristles look visibly worn.
Do you have additional questions about brushing?
If you still have questions about brushing then we invite you to give us a call at (800) 407-0161. When you come to our offices for your cleaning and exam, we’d be happy to show you how to brush your teeth the most effective way. After all, our only goal is your exceptional oral health.