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8 Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Tooth brushing is a habit that has become second nature to most people, and it is easy not to think about it. Many people may be brushing their teeth the wrong way and not even know it. Make sure you are taking the best care of your teeth by reviewing our list of top tooth brushing tips.

  1. Make sure you have the right toothbrush. A soft-bristled tooth brush is best to protect tooth enamel and gums. Stiffer bristles may be too harsh, especially if you have a tendency to brush too hard. If you are wondering whether it is better to go with an electric toothbrush or a manual, it is largely a matter of preference. If you have difficulty reaching all areas of your teeth, an electric model might be right for you.
  2. Work on your technique. The ideal way to brush is to hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and make short, up-and-down strokes. Be sure to brush all areas of your teeth, especially hard-to-reach back molar areas, and your tongue.
  3. Brush for at least two minutes twice a day. Many people fall short of the two minute rule. Try dividing your mouth into four quadrants and spending 30 seconds on each. Do not over brush, however; this could lead to sore gums and other issues. Also, try to switch up your technique. Start brushing in different areas each time you brush to avoid becoming bored with your routine and brushing less thoroughly than necessary.
  4. Brush enough, but not too much. Brushing two to three times a day is ideal, but more than this might actually be counterproductive. Over brushing could cause tooth enamel and gum tissue to wear away, exposing you to further dental problems. Also, remember to use a light touch. It doesn’t take aggressive brushing to remove plaque.
  5. Keep your sweet tooth and sour cravings under control. Foods and beverages with high amounts of acid can have a seriously damaging effect on the enamel of your teeth, including fruit juices, coffee, candies, and sodas. If you do indulge in something sugary or acidic, wait at least half an hour before you brush to give your saliva a chance to wash away the acid and re-harden softened enamel. Brushing immediately after eating or drinking an enamel-softening food could make enamel wear away faster.
  6. Choose the right toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste is great for brightening your smile, but these products can be harsh and could end up damaging teeth. It is best to use a regular toothpaste containing fluoride. If you have sensitive teeth, there are many brands of toothpaste available to help alleviate symptoms.
  7. Keep your toothbrush clean. Always rinse your brush after use to keep germs and extra toothpaste at bay. Also, avoid storing your toothbrush in a case where it will stay wet for a long time; a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria. After rinsing with water, allow it to air dry upright in a toothbrush holder, not on the counter.
  8. Replace your toothbrush regularly. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Toothbrushes with broken or frayed bristles are not as effective at removing plaque. Once you notice these signs in your toothbrush, it is time to get a fresh one.

With regular and correct brushing, you can enjoy a healthy smile for years to come.

Is it time to schedule your semi-annual cleaning? Contact our San Diego dentist at Advanced Dentistry & Implant Center today to make an appointment: (858) 348-5859.