At this point, brushing out teeth is second nature to us. We have a routine that we follow each day, get in, get the job done, get out. We don’t even need to think about it anymore, we just do it, right? Turns out some of us may have developed a few not so useful habits that are actually preventing you from properly brushing your teeth properly and could be holding you back from COMPLETE ORAL HEALTH. Okay maybe that’s a bit of an overreaction, but we mean it when we say that improper oral hygiene could lead to a decline in oral health, so let’s “brush up” with these quick tips! (it’s okay to groan at that one).
Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Toothbrush
When you go to the store to buy a toothbrush, the selections certainly seem overwhelming. There are 1 packs, 2 packs, 5 packs, only electric heads, princess electric combos, and they all come in red, blue gold, green, plaid, rainbow – it’s a mess. Most of us feel overwhelmed and simply grab the first one that isn’t a Disney princess and move on with our lives. Next time you’re getting a toothbrush think of a few things. First, do you feel you have to strain to keep your mouth open and brush your teeth? If so then buy a smaller brush. Second, make sure the brush looks like it will fit comfortably in your hands. Lastly buy soft-bristled toothbrushes. The harder the bristly, the more chance of brushing too hard and hurting your gums.
Mistake 2: Not Brushing Long Enough
We’re sure you’ve heard this before, especially from us. Most people simply don’t brush their teeth for long enough and it’s inhibiting their ability to have good oral health. 2 minutes is the recommended time to brush your mouth, and if you break your mouth up into 4 sections (top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right,) then you can take 30 seconds per sections and get those teeth nice and clean. To some people, this is incredibly boring sounding, so just do what we do and set a time on your phone and watch TV until the timer goes off.
There are even electric toothbrushes out there that sync with your smartphone to provide brushing data and track brushing habits. What a time to be alive!
Mistake 3: Overdoing it
Some people get really into brushing their teeth, so much so that it actually is hurting them more than it’s helping them. Brushing more than 3 times a day can be less than ideal, wearing down tooth enamel and damaging gums. Use a lighter touch if your gums come away sore from brushing. It doesn’t take a lot to remove plaque.
If you have an electric toothbrush, simply guide the brush on its path and let the bristles do the work.
Mistake 4: Using the Wrong Toothpaste
What are you looking for in a toothpaste? Do you want whitening? Tartar control? Plaque prevention? Each toothpaste will have a specific thing it does well. Make sure you take a few minutes to see what the different types you have to offer and pick one that suits your needs.
Mistake 5: Overusing your Toothbrush
In the words of a famous Disney princess, “Let it Go”. If your toothbrush is over 3 months old, get rid of it and replace it with a new one. Once those bristles start losing their flexibility and begin splitting like hairs, you know it’s the end of the line for that brush. Frayed or broken bristles won’t clean anything as well as your toothbrush ought to, so refer to mistake one and get a new one!
Who knew brushing your teeth might be so complicated? We did, so you don’t have to. Now get out there and get the right toothbrush or toothpaste, and replace the 6-month-old brush with a new one! If you have any questions or are looking for a Hartford area dentist then head over to Hopitaldentalgroup.com and request an appointment with us!