Three Most Common Brushing Mistakes

Brushing your teeth regularly is your first line of defense against tooth decay. You should brush them twice daily, preferably right after breakfast and before you go to sleep. Brushing is one of the most crucial elements to maintain your oral health.

Since brushing is crucial, it is important that you brush your teeth correctly and use the right type of brush. You would think that it is not possible to brush your teeth incorrectly. After all, the brush only fits in your mouth so many ways and you can only move it in so many directions, but there is a wrong way and a right way. Some brushing mistakes, however, are more common than others.

Mistakes You Must Fix

The first mistake many of our patients make is getting the wrong toothbrush. It is difficult these days with such a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and claims about the product. Sometimes the amount of choice can be overwhelming, so you just grab one that looks good.

The one thing you must consider when getting a toothbrush is the size and shape of the brush in relation to the size and shape of your mouth and teeth. Some of our patients complain that they have cavities but do everything they are supposed to do. Then we discover that the brush they have is too small to adequately cover the tooth surfaces. So first, look at the brush and think about your mouth, then purchase your toothbrush.

The next big mistake you must correct is the length of time you take to brush your teeth. Toothbrushing is not a contest to see if you can brush faster than yesterday and it shouldn't go on forever. But you should brush your teeth for two minutes each time you brush. And brush gently. Brushing your teeth harder doesn't remove more food particles, in fact, it can damage your tooth enamel.

Lastly, get a toothbrush with soft bristles. As you don't have to attack your teeth with the brush you also don't have to scrape away the bacteria that became plaque. That is our job. Your job is to gently brush away the loose food particles and the acid left behind with your soft-bristled brush.

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