It might concern you to find out you’ve been brushing your teeth incorrectly after all these years. You may imagine keeping your pearly whites spotless is so simple you can’t go wrong. Nonetheless, many dentists, including Florida based Dr. Maria Luong, agree that numerous people make these costly mistakes that can lead to enamel erosion, tooth decay, and gingivitis, among other dental problems.
Brushing your teeth too hard
The harder you press on your teeth with your brush, the cleaner they are, right? Unfortunately, brushing harder does not mean cleaner teeth. You may be causing damage to your tooth enamel, wearing it away with intensive scrubbing. Plaque is soft and loose, so you don’t have to scrub so hard.
There’s no need to scrub away at your teeth as though you’re sanding a piece of wood to make it smooth. If you do, just like when you clean wood this way, you strip off the top layer. Instead, take a more gentle approach, and your tooth enamel will last longer.
Skipping flossing between teeth
Everyone hates to floss so they avoid flossing.
Like most people, flossing can be cumbersome to some or just have a poor technique like doing a sawing, back-and-forth motion to clean between your teeth that could cut your gums instead.
You’ll improve your technique by holding floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of tooth moving the floss with up and down motions. Do so gradually to all your teeth, and you’ll remove more debris. It’s important, however, not to miss the gaps between each tooth where food clings and plaque builds. Flossing at least once a day prevents gingivitis and cavities between your teeth.
Another alternative to flossing is water flossing. You can use a device that uses a stream of water to aim between the teeth to remove plaque.
Forgetting to brush at the gum line
While it’s necessary to keep your teeth germ-free, it’s important to brush at the gum line where bacteria often hang out. This is an area that is missed a lot. So brushing your teeth means to brush your whole tooth, including under the gum.
Remember be gentle with your gums. They aren’t as hard as your teeth and need to be taken care of.
Brushing once a day
You may believe you only need to brush your teeth once a day, probably when you wake up in the morning. After all, most people forget or are too tired to remember to brush at bedtime, leaving behind bacteria on your teeth and mouth.
Dr. Maria Luong recommends that it is a good practice to clean your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time help prevent tooth decay. Brush every day. Don’t cut short your brushing time.
Should you brush straight after breakfast though?
Experts advise people not to brush their teeth too soon after eating acidic foods and drinks. So, leave brushing until 30 mins later if any of your meals have acidic food or beverages. Otherwise, your tooth enamel will be softer than usual and prone to damage from cleaning.
You may not have used the right tooth-cleaning technique, but at least you know now how to keep your teeth in better condition.