Tooth Brushing Mistakes
Limited Brushing Time
Most of us brush our teeth with a quick circle around the mouth and call it good, but by not brushing long enough, we miss some really good benefits of brushing longer. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, which can seem like an eternity when you’re in a hurry. Brushing longer loosens more plaque and food particles left on the teeth and in the crevices that can cause decay.
Brushing Too Hard
Use a soft toothbrush and gently brush each tooth top, front, and back with a gentle hand and in a circular motion. Then go back and brush again with your teeth together. Pressing too hard can overstress the gums, causing them to recede, and exposing part of the tooth’s root. This can lead to sensitive teeth.
Brushing at the Wrong Angle
Brushing straight across your teeth with a hand-held toothbrush isn’t the best way to get under the gum line where plaque hides. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so the bristles gently brush over the teeth and gum line and brush in small circles. If you have a sonic toothbrush, hold the brush on each tooth for a few seconds. Their bristles are designed to reach down to the gum line.
Using a Worn-Out Brush
If your toothbrush looks like you’ve been scrubbing floors with it, it’s time to replace it. A toothbrush that has floppy bristles isn’t doing a good job for you. A good rule of thumb is to replace the toothbrush or the rotating head of your electric toothbrush every three months.