You might already know that you should brush your teeth twice a day and make every attempt to floss at least daily. But even if you think you’ve got a healthy smile, there may some brushing mistakes you’re making. Here are just a few that family dentists commonly see in their patients. By addressing these mistakes early, you can prevent problems in the future.
1. Missing Your Gum Line
You might be inclined to focus only on your pearly whites, but you need to brush your gum line, too! Fortunately, your family dentist has a trick to it that will make your gums feel pampered. The dentists’ trick to happy gums is to position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when brushing so you’re massaging them instead of brushing them raw. Which leads us to our next mistake…
2. Brushing Too Hard
Do not scrub your teeth; that just leads to damaged teeth. Your teeth are a part of you and should be treated gently. Even though the cleaning tools your family dentist might use can sound like they’re scrubbing your teeth, those machines are really doing gentle round brushing to polish your teeth. Brushing too hard and using anything but a soft bristle brush is a recipe for disaster. Speaking of which…
3. Using a Hard Bristle Brush
Getting a toothbrush with hard bristles may seem like the best option, just like scrubbing your teeth intuitively feels like the right way to brush — but both are wrong. A hard bristle brush can actually create little grooves in the teeth, which can invite bacteria and all sorts of issues. Your family dentist recommends you look for a soft bristle brush to prevent damage.
4. Not Brushing Long Enough
The general rule is that you should brush your teeth for around two minutes. That can feel like a lifetime if you aren’t used to it! Some people think they can rush the brushing process by brushing too hard and using a hard bristle brush, but your family dentist will tell you that is simply not true. Brushing for two minutes or more gives you the time to clean your teeth, tongue, and roof of your mouth thoroughly. Spend a full 30 seconds on the insides of your upper teeth, with an additional 30 seconds spent on the insides of your lower teeth.
Brushing your teeth may seem like a simple task, but there are clearly a number of mistakes that can derail your oral care efforts. By avoiding these missteps, you’ll ensure your family dentist will smile when they see you at your next appointment.