Knowing how to properly brush your teeth
is essential to a healthy mouth and gums. That means also knowing what you're doing wrong. So many people make these common mistakes that can cause gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and yellow teeth. Here are 7 teeth brushing mistakes you're probably making and how to fix them.
- You're Not Replacing Your Toothbrush
Over time your toothbrush bristles become frayed, harden, and build up more and more bacteria. Your toothbrush or toothbrush head should be replaced at least every 3 months or whenever the bristles start becoming frayed.
- You're Not Brushing Long Enough
You probably always hear, "Brush your teeth for 2 minutes." But do you know why? The reason why is because brushing for any time less than 2 minutes doesn't give the fluoride in your toothpaste enough time to attach to your tooth enamel. Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel so that's why it's important to brush for 2 minutes. The average person's brushing time is only 45 seconds. If you switch to an electric toothbrush it'll do the timing for you and some with intervals of 30 seconds to switch to different parts of your mouth.
- You're Not Flossing
No, flossing isn't brushing, but it's just as important. Toothbrush bristles can't get into all the crevices of your teeth, but dental floss can. You should floss once a day, usually at the end of the day when there are food particles stuck in between your teeth. If food particles get stuck in between your teeth, they turn to plaque, and over time can cause gingivitis.
- You're Using a Hard Bristle Toothbrush
Hard bristled toothbrushes can harm your gums. You should always use a soft bristle toothbrush to protect your gums. While you may think that hard bristles will get your teeth cleaner, they actually make matters worse. They scrape off the protective enamel layer of your teeth, leaving them yellow and very sensitive.
- You're Using the Wrong Brushing Technique
The proper brushing technique is small circles at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Brushing from side-to-side can cause gum recession. Another mistake people make is only brushing the visible part of your teeth. The inner surfaces and chewing surfaces should not be forgotten.
- You're Covering Your Toothbrush
Using a clip-on toothbrush cover actually provides the perfect environment for bacteria to grow on your toothbrush. It's fine for when you're going on vacation and don't want to get hair all over your toothbrush, but it shouldn't be a long-term thing. Instead, leave your toothbrush out in the open so it has a chance to air-dry.
- You're Brushing Your Teeth Right After Eating
After eating a meal, especially an acidic one, the pH levels in your mouth to drop and your saliva to have a higher acid content. If you are brushing your teeth right after eating then you're brushing the acid deeper into the enamel of your teeth. You should wait at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour, before brushing your teeth after a meal.