Toothbrushing Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

A man making toothbrushing mistakes in front of a mirror.

It Turns Out, You Can Have Too Much Of A Good Thing

If you’re like most people, you head to the sink at least twice a day for one of our society’s most common rituals: brushing your teeth. There’s nothing better than a fresh, clean, minty mouth after you wake up, and the idea of heading to bed without brushing is…well…gross. But before you brush again, make sure you’re not making these toothbrushing mistakes. They may cost you!

Brushing too hard – You can have too much of a good thing. Brushing too hard can cause enamel erosion and even recede your precious gum tissue. The truth is, plaque is a soft substance and can easily be removed with a light brushing motion. The fix? Try holding your toothbrush with just your thumb, pointer finger and middle finger. This lighter grip will keep you from pushing too hard.

Not brushing long enough – Do you remember when your dentist used to tell you to brush to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’ twice? They were on to something. By brushing softer for a longer period of time, you’re sure to cover all of the surfaces you need to hit, without damaging your enamel or gums.
You need a new brush – We suggest changing up your toothbrush every three months at a minimum. Old toothbrushes with frayed bristles don’t clean very well, and fungus and bacteria like to linger. You should also throw away your toothbrush after an illness to avoid the spreading and repopulating of bacteria.

You need a new routine – The average person brushes their teeth 730 times each year, so habits and routines are bound to form! By performing the same routine each time you brush, you may be constantly overlooking one area or overdoing it in another. By introducing some variation (start on the opposite side of your mouth every other day) you will be sure to hit all of the spots you need to without fail!

Give yourself a break – If you choose to indulge in sour or acidic foods, your first inclination may be to brush right away. Don’t! The acids in the foods you enjoyed need time to be neutralized by your saliva before you brush. Give yourself a half hour to allow your enamel to repair and then brush.

Next time you head to the bathroom to brush, don’t forget these toothbrushing mistakes and the creative solutions that will help keep your mouth clean and healthy! Do you have questions about brushing techniques, gum recession, or any other elements of your dental health? Give one of our Hamilton dental office a call or request an appointment here.

Dr Christopher Sims

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