Bad Brushing Habits
Maintaining good oral hygiene cannot be accomplished with just brushing alone. Often people are causing harm to their teeth and gums due to poor brushing habits. While it may seem that simply brushing your teeth will keep your mouth healthy, this is not always the case. Take a look at the list below to see if you’ve been practicing bad brushing habits.
You Brush Too Hard
Plaque is actually a soft, loose substance which means it’s easier to remove than you may think. Because brushing too hard can cause damage to your teeth and gums, it’s better to gently massage your teeth with your toothbrush. Continually brushing your teeth with too much force can lead to scratches on the gums and even infection.
You Keep Your Toothbrush For Too Long
Toothbrushes have an expiration date, much like the food we eat. The expiration date per toothbrush is about 3 months. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you change your toothbrush with each new season. It’s necessary to change your toothbrush regularly to keep up your oral hygiene. Toothbrushes accumulate germs over time and after extended use, the bristles become bent, frayed, or broken. Using an old toothbrush can actually create more plaque and may also damage the gums.
You’re Not Brushing Long Enough
The average American brushes their teeth for only 45 seconds. This is less than half the recommended amount of time of 2 minutes. When you brush too quickly you miss germs, plaque, and food in your teeth. And the fluoride in your toothpaste doesn’t have enough time to fully work if you’re not brushing for long enough. Try playing a song that’s around 2-3 minutes long while you brush to help keep track of your brush time.
You Brush Too Soon After a Meal
Brushing your teeth directly after each meal can actually be causing harm to your teeth and gums. While brushing after a meal is recommended, brushing too soon after a meal can be counterproductive. The acidity from food lingers in our mouths after we eat. Brushing immediately after eating can push the acids into sensitive parts of your tooth which can lead to enamel erosion and sensitive teeth. The suggested amount of time to wait before brushing your teeth after eating is 30 minutes. Waiting 30 minutes to brush will allow the saliva to neutralize and break down the acids in your mouth before they get worked into your teeth. If you must brush immediately after a meal, rinse your mouth out with plenty of water before-hand.
You Neglect Your Gums and Tongue
You may think that brushing your teeth automatically means your gums are being cleaned too, but sadly, this isn’t true. Not cleaning your gums can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease). To ensure that your gums stay healthy you must clean them independently of your teeth.
You must also make sure to brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth. Bacteria lingers all over the mouth, including your tongue. Brushing your tongue will help alleviate bad breath and will reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.
You’re Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Everyone is different, especially when it comes to the type of toothbrush they use. Hard bristled toothbrushes might seem like a good brush because the bristles are strong and will remove plaque and other gunk easier. This is often not true. Hard bristled toothbrushes are notorious for causing damage to teeth and gums such as weakening enamel and creating a receding gum line. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are highly recommended because they’re less abrasive and cause less damage. Some opt for electric toothbrushes over manual ones because they make teeth cleaning easy, but it’s important to look into which kind is best to use as they can be harmful to sensitive gums and teeth as well. If you’re unsure of which toothbrush is best for you, contact your dentist.
You’re Storing Your Toothbrush Improperly
Just as it’s important to keep your teeth clean and healthy, it’s critical that you keep your toothbrush clean too. Don’t keep toothbrushes laying on the sink, in a travel container, or upside down in your toothbrush holder. All of these bad brushing habits keep your toothbrush consistently wet or moist, which can result in mold growing on your toothbrush. The best way to store your toothbrush is up-right in a toothbrush holder or cup. This allows the bristles to dry which will keep them from getting moldy. It’s also very important to keep toothbrushes far away from the toilet (and make sure when you flush that the toilet seat is down first.)
Connect With Well Beyond Dental
Contact our Reno NV office to set up an appointment today for either specialized or general dentistry services! Well Beyond Dental is a Reno family dentistry that combines knowledge and experience from across multiple practices to create the most knowledgeable team of dentists and staff. We specialize in going the extra step to make sure your smile and your health is the best it can be.