8 Toothbrushing Mistakes You're Making from Pennino Family Dentistry
Are you guilty of any of these common toothbrushing mistakes?
By: Pennino Family Dentistry
1. Using Hard Bristles
You should always choose a brush that has soft or extra soft bristles. They need to be pliable enough to reach below the gum line and gently clean the surfaces of your teeth.
2. Brushing Too Hard
Plaque doesn't require much physical effort to whisk away. Go easy when brushing your teeth, using gentle circular motions with the bristles just touching the surface for the most effective cleaning.
3. Not Changing the Toothbrush or Brush Head Frequently Enough
Replace your manual toothbrush or the brush head on your electric model every three months; otherwise, the bristles begin to splay and cannot effectively clean your teeth. In between, rinse your brush well with regular tap water and let it air dry to minimize bacteria.
4. Not Brushing Long Enough
Dentists generally recommend brushing at least 2-3 minutes. Set the timer on your phone or play your favorite song to ensure you're doing it long enough. Experiment with different fluoride and charcoal toothpastes until you find a favorite, to encourage you to brush regularly and long enough.
5. Not Getting Below the Gumline
Make sure your toothbrush is sweeping away the plague and bacteria that lurk just below the gum line. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so the bristles can gently reach under the one millimeter at the top of the gum line.
6. Not Using an Angled Toothbrush
Angled toothbrushes are designed to reach molars in the back of your mouth and clean the surfaces of all your teeth. Straight toothbrushes may not reach all of your teeth as effectively.
7. Not Paying Attention
It's easy to let your mind wander while brushing, but you still need to pay attention while brushing to make sure you're holding the brush correctly and using the proper motion.
8. Failing to Floss
Flossing is essential for keeping gums healthy and preventing cavities from forming in between teeth. Is it better to floss before or after you brush? One study found that plague removal was more effective when people flossed before brushing. Flossing first dislodges food particles which brushing can then clean away.
We Can Determine If You're Overbrushing or Making Other Brushing Mistakes
Brushing and flossing aren't enough to keep your smile bright and healthy; you should also be visiting a dentist regularly. At Pennino Family Dentistry, we can tell you if you're brushing your teeth correctly when you schedule a check-up. Contact us to make an appointment.