It’s easy to fall into bad brushing habits. Most people tend to check out mentally while they brush. If a recent trip to your family dentist has you rethinking your oral hygiene routine, consider taking a more mindful approach to brushing.
Following are some common brushing faux pas to avoid.
Forgetting to Replace Your Toothbrush
Can you remember the last time you changed your toothbrush? If it’s been longer than three months, it is definitely time for a new one. Old brushes can harbor bacteria and their bristles can fray, which could irritate your gums and diminish your brush’s cleaning power.
We strongly encourage our patients to throw away old brushes four times a year, preferably at the start of each season. If you catch a cold or the flu, change your brush out as soon as you get well.
Not Brushing Long Enough
How much time do you spend brushing? If it’s anything less than two minutes, you’re not spending enough time on your teeth and gums. You need at least two minutes of brushing to thoroughly clean your mouth.
Brushing Too Vigorously
Bearing down too hard when you brush could contribute to long-term damage to your teeth. Vigorous brushing damages tooth enamel, which over time could increase your risks for tooth decay, chips, and cracks.
Instead of fast and hard brushing, clean your teeth with a light hand and gentle, circular motions. Using an electric toothbrush can help because the brush head’s movement will do all the work for you.
Brushing Too Soon After Meals
If you’re heading straight for the sink after meals, you could be damaging your teeth. Brushing too soon after eating is dangerous because our teeth soften after eating. This is because the bacteria that feed on debris from food release acids as a byproduct. Acid temporarily softens the enamel of our teeth. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after meals to brush your teeth.
If it’s time for a cleaning or checkup, call our practice to schedule an appointment with our family dentist.