Avoid these common tooth brushing mistakes

August 14, 2014

woman-with-toothbrush-smilingOne would think that knowing how to properly care for the teeth is common knowledge, but the average person makes tooth brushing blunders daily. Here are some of the most common tooth brushing mistakes and how to correct them for a better oral hygiene routine.
Using the wrong toothbrush
When purchasing a toothbrush, size matters! A brush that is too big in size or made of the wrong types of bristles can cause damage to the teeth if too hard or be ineffective in removing plaque if too soft. A toothbrush should feel as comfortable in your hand as holding a fork when you eat. The handle should be comfortable and the head should be wide enough to fit into your mouth comfortably. If your mouth is opening wide and straining to get the brush in, then that is a sign that the toothbrush is too big. The hardness of the bristles matter as well when picking a toothbrush. The bristles should be hard enough to remove plaque but soft enough not to harm the teeth.
Not brushing often enough or long enough
The average person only brushes once a day in the morning before the start of the day, but dentists recommend brushing at least two to three times daily. Waiting too long between brushes can cause bacterial plaque buildup, which can boost the risk of gum inflammation and other problems. Brushing should last a total of two minutes, breaking up the mouth into four quadrants and using 30 seconds of correct brushing in each to get the teeth clean.
Brushing too hard
Brushing too hard can expose the root of the tooth to irritation, and in turn, irritate the gums. Brushing vigorously with too much force can erode tooth enamel. Brushing gently for two to three minutes is ideal.
Not brushing correctly
The average person makes the mistake of brushing in a horizontal line across the teeth, but the correct way to brush is vertically or softly in circular stokes. Long, horizontal brushes along the gum line lead to abrasions.
Using the right sized brush with the correct bristles and performing the correct brush stroke two to three times a day for two minutes will help keep your teeth fresh and clean throughout the day! Make these slight changes and see how your oral hy