Do you think that you know everything there is to know about maximizing your dental health and keeping your teeth in perfect condition? Think again! There’s a good chance that you, like 90% of all other Americans, are not brushing your teeth correctly. Here is a list of the most common dental care mistakes that you’re probably making, and how to rectify them.
Not Brushing for Long Enough
You are probably aware that you should be brushing for at least two to three minutes… but are you aware that, even if you have the best possible intentions, you probably aren’t brushing nearly as long as that? Set a timer the next time you clean your teeth and see for yourself!
Forgetting to Change Your Toothbrush
Bacteria builds up quickly on your toothbrush even when you store it correctly (leaving it standing upright and allowing it to air dry). Further to this, the bristles can start to show wear and tear after a few weeks of use. This is why most oral health experts recommend changing your toothbrush a minimum of every three months.
Your Toothbrush Isn’t Soft Enough
You might think that a harder toothbrush will be better equipped to remove plaque and other build-up; however, the reality is that hard-bristled toothbrushes can do more harm than good. Most dentists recommend a softer toothbrush instead. This is because softer bristles are more flexible and can reach a larger portion of each tooth’s surface.
Remember to invest in a special toothbrush as suggested by your dentist if you have undergone a tooth replacement with dental implants.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing too hard can result in damaged enamel and other problems with your teeth. This brushing technique is also commonly associated with irritated, sensitive gums, as well as unsightly gum recession. These risks are further exacerbated if you are someone who brushes their teeth in a sawing, back and forth motion. Short, circular movements are much more beneficial and go hand in hand with a lighter pressure.
Forgetting to Clean Your Tongue
Your tongue is capable of harbouring plenty of bacteria and is often the culprit behind bad breath. Despite this, many people will forget to pay the same level of attention to their tongue as they do to their teeth and gums. Clean your tongue with your toothbrush, a tongue scraper, or a high-quality mouthwash. Use the same gentle approach as mentioned above to prevent injury.
Not Looking in the Mirror While You Brush
You should always use a mirror to get a clearer view of what you are doing. This will ensure that you clean all of your teeth properly, never missing any spots. Remember to focus on brushing near the gum line, as this is the area most often neglected and that can be associated with the onset of gum disease. Also, be sure to use the mirror to inspect your teeth and gums for any issues, like cracks, chips, or inflammation.
Here’s to better oral health going forward. Keep up those good habits!