VIGORBUDDY.COM | 7 Brushing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Teeth | Brushing in the morning and at night is part of everyone’s daily routine. Starting your day with this habit helps you avoid that dreaded morning breath and feel confident to talk away.
When you brush at night, you remove the food particles and bacteria left in your mouth. As a result, you will prevent plaque from building up on your teeth, thereby staving off the start of tooth decay and other dental issues.
But no matter how dedicated you are to brushing your teeth twice a day, you may still be making some mistakes that prevent you from getting the most benefits from this healthy practice.
Incorrect Brushing Habits and Techniques
A trusted dentist from Fort Lauderdale shares below the top seven brushing mistakes that can do more harm than good to your teeth and tips for avoiding and correcting them:
1. Brushing too soon after eating
No matter how much you want or need to brush your teeth, wait at least 30 minutes after eating, especially if you ate or drank something acidic.
The acidity from the food you ate lingers in your mouth for several minutes. If you brush immediately after a meal, you will push the acids into sensitive areas of your tooth. This can cause enamel erosion and teeth sensitivity.
When you wait at least half an hour after your meal to brush, you allow your saliva to neutralize and break down the acids in your mouth. Because of this, you will avoid spreading them around.
If you need to brush immediately after eating, rinse with plenty of water beforehand. And make sure you avoid consuming acidic foods and beverages such as dishes with tomato sauces and coffee or wine.
2. Following the wrong brushing technique
To get the most benefits from brushing, you have to do it properly. As such, simply gliding your toothbrush on the surfaces of your teeth is not enough.
According to dentists, the correct brushing technique is as follows:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line.
- Sweep or roll the toothbrush away from your gum line.
- Move the brush back and forth gently, vertically, so it reaches the inside and chewing surfaces of each tooth and the area where it meets the gums.
- Brush the molars or teeth in the back.
When you follow this technique, you will remove more food particles and plaque from your teeth. This can help you greatly in maintaining good oral health.
3. Not brushing your tongue
Your tongue is also part of your mouth. As such, you also have to keep it clean. This means you have to brush your tongue, too.
Keep in mind that bacteria linger in your mouth, which means there are always some on your tongue.
When you make it a habit to brush your tongue, you reduce the bacteria in your mouth. You will avoid bad breath as well.
4. Brushing too hard
Many people have the habit of brushing their teeth too hard since they feel they are cleaning their pearly whites better this way. If you are also guilty of this, you have to stop doing it as soon as possible.
Scrubbing your teeth too hard can cause enamel to wear down and the gums to recede. It can also increase tooth sensitivity. Making this a habit can cause other dental problems as well.
If you see blood on your toothbrush or on your spit, or you feel your gums ache whenever you brush, you may already be brushing too hard. Learn to be gentler when you go about this oral hygiene practice to enjoy good dental health.
5. Brushing too quickly
Most people spend less than a minute brushing their teeth. If this has been your practice, then you have been going about this oral hygiene practice incorrectly.
When you follow the right brushing technique, it will take you a few minutes to brush your teeth.
Dental experts recommend brushing for at least two minutes. About 120 seconds will give you enough time to remove leftover food particles, bacteria, and plaque that have accumulated over the day or night.
If you want to ensure you are brushing long enough, do it while listening to a song. Most popular tunes are two minutes or longer.
Although listening to your favorite song while brushing can be helpful, watching TV or a video can be detrimental. When you’re doing something else while brushing, you may miss some spots, thereby allowing food debris, bacteria, and plaque to remain in them.
6. Using the wrong toothbrush
A lot of people tend to get the first toothbrush they see at the supermarket or drugstore if they are shopping for a new one. This is a big mistake that can also cause you several dental issues.
If you are buying a new toothbrush, choose one that has soft bristles. They are gentler on the teeth and gums yet can still give them a thorough cleaning.
A hard-bristled toothbrush, on the other hand, can cause wear on the enamel of your teeth and damage to the gum lining, especially if you brush too hard.
Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles start to fray to avoid using an oral hygiene tool that may foster bacteria.
7. Storing your toothbrush incorrectly
Lastly, keeping your toothbrush clean is also crucial to having healthy, sparkling teeth. If you leave your toothbrush on the sink or anywhere in your bathroom, you are already putting something dirty in your mouth.
Putting your toothbrush upside down in a toothbrush holder or cup is not a great practice, either.
These bad habits can cause your toothbrush to remain moist or wet, allowing bacteria and even molds to grow on the bristles.
To keep your toothbrush safe to use, always store it upright in a toothbrush holder or cup. By doing so, you allow the bristles to dry, which will keep molds and germs away.
Additionally, make sure you keep your toothbrushes away from the toilet and put down the seat first before flushing so that they won’t get splashed by the germ-filled toilet water.
If you want to be sure your toothbrush is germ-free, make it a habit to rinse it with hot water before using it.
Aside from avoiding these brushing mistakes, make sure you get regular teeth cleaning from your Fort Lauderdale dentist. By doing so, you will maintain good oral health and prevent different dental problems from starting.