Perhaps one of the biggest toothbrush mistakes you can make is not using one! For optimum oral health, the American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day. Aside from not brushing at all or not enough, are there other toothbrush mishaps to watch out for? As it turns out, there are—but they’re also easily remedied.
Five Common Tooth-Brushing Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make
Simply because they happen, doesn’t mean the following toothbrush mistakes need to happen to you. Most of these brushing-associated issues are avoidable and easy to fix. To keep your teeth and gums in the best condition possible, simply follow a few rules of thumb—and be cautious of these five pitfalls:
- Using the Wrong Toothbrush
- Brushing with any toothbrush other than one with soft bristles can be harmful to the teeth and gums. In addition to selecting a toothbrush labeled “soft,” it’s important to find one that will fit the size and shape of your mouth. Dentists also recommend using a powered toothbrush, such as an ultrasonic or oscillating-operated toothbrush. When in doubt (or overwhelmed) over toothbrush selection, go with a brush displaying the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Remember: as a patient of Hospital Dental Group, you can always ask Dr. Anatoliy Ravin for his recommendation.
- Not Brushing Long Enough
- The recommended tooth-brushing time period for best practices is two minutes per session. For a helpful guideline, think about breaking up your tooth-brushing into four sections: top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right. Divide your two minutes into 30-second intervals per section.
- Utilizing the Wrong Technique
- Brushing harder or more frequently does not equate to better tooth-brushing techniques. In fact, brushing more than three times a day can actually wear down tooth enamel and damage the gums. If you’re using a soft-bristle manual toothbrush, it’s best to brush in a soft, 45-degree circular motion for the recommended two minutes per session. Rather than brush after every meal, drink plenty of water. H2O works as a natural cleanser and will help reduce bacteria from settling in the mouth.
- Overuse of Your Toothbrush
- All good things must come to an end, including your toothbrush. Generally, a toothbrush loses its luster and effectiveness after three months. The best way to test the durability of your toothbrush is to assess the flexibility of its bristles. If the bristles of your manual or electric toothbrush are frayed, bristled or crunchy, it’s time to swap for a new one.
- Pairing Your Toothbrush With the Wrong Toothpaste
- To ensure best tooth-brushing practices, it’s important to pair your toothbrush with the right toothpaste. To achieve the best oral hygiene health, dentists recommend using a toothpaste with fluoride. Much like the prolific toothbrush offerings you’ll find at the grocery store, options for kinds of toothpastes can be similarly overwhelming. Seek the ADA Seal of Acceptance when shopping for your toothpaste to help narrow your selection. It’s also helpful to consider things like the sensitivity of your teeth and whether or not you would benefit from a toothpaste that promotes teeth-whitening.
Go Forth and Brush With Confidence!
At HDG, we strive to help educate our patients to ensure they not only avoid potential toothbrush mistakes, but also practice the best oral hygiene habits for positive dental and overall health.
If you’d like to know more about tips for tooth-brushing success or would like to schedule a visit with us, one of our staff members would love to help you set up your visit. Contact us now at 860-524-5194.