While there are tons of dental care tips available on the web, as a Greenfield and Milwaukee dentist office, we love sharing our favorites with you too! We especially like helping you avoid tooth brushing mistakes.
One piece of dental care advice - dental care tips - that many people overlook, is brushing teeth properly. Brushing your teeth seems like an easy, day-to-day, task. However, the majority of us may not be brushing as well as we could. The good news is that where there are tooth brushing mistakes, there are also solutions.
In Part 1 of this series, we’ll start with tooth brushing mistakes. In Part 2, we’ll cover the way to brush teeth right!
Here are some of the most common tooth brushing mistakes and how to fix them!
You Pick the Wrong Brush
Picking a toothbrush is hard enough because there is a vast selection from which to choose. Picking the RIGHT toothbrush is even harder. Our Milwaukee dentist office favorite is the Oral B Electric toothbrush. But whether you go electric or manual, you first want a brush that can cover all the necessary places. It can be electric or manual, but one rule to follow is to be sure the bristles are comfortably soft against your teeth and gums. If the bristles are too hard, they won’t be able to bend and get under the gum line. Hard bristles can also wear down your tooth structure or can accidentally scrape or cause abrasions on the gums.
Harder Isn’t Always Better
There are over brushing teeth symptoms as well. Your teeth are not the same as the grout in your bathroom tile, so don’t treat them like they are. When scrubbing your grout, you have to put some elbow grease into it to be sure it comes clean. When it comes to your teeth, that is not the case. Plaque is soft and loose, so you don’t have to scrub to get your teeth clean. Think about it this way… replace the word “scrub” with “massage.”
Take Your Time
Wonder how long you should brush your teeth? You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, for 2 minutes each time. That doesn’t sound like a long period, but when you’re late for school or work, it’s easy to feel the need to cut that 2 minutes short. DON’T. Everybody has their own personal timer with them all the time, a cell phone. Set a timer for 2 minutes and brush until the time is up. If you’re a headphone kind of person, play one of your favorite songs that is in the 2-3 minute-range and brush while jamming out. For kids you can even call it their, "How long to brush teeth song."
Once you’ve found your favorite toothbrush, it is often hard to throw it out—even if that time might be way overdue. When bristles become discolored, bent, or dirty-looking, it is time to throw it out. The power behind the bristles only applies when the bristles are intact. A toothbrush will last about 3-4 months, then it’ll be time to replace it.
You Go Back and Forth
It is very common brushing mistake to go from left to right. The solution is to start from the gums and go up and down, in little circular motions. Remember, massage, not scrub. Brushing incorrectly can actually cause damage.
Don’t Forget the Gum Line
Bacteria’s favorite place to hang out is where your tooth meets your gums. This area is often missed. You want to get about a millimeter right under your gum to clean your entire tooth, which is why it’s important to have soft, bendable bristles. To accomplish cleaning your whole tooth, use an angle. Brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line to be able to get right under the gums. While we’re adding in other areas to brush, go ahead and brush your tongue as well. The tongue is full of bacteria and is often overlooked.
Brushing your teeth correctly isn’t really hard. Hopefully, this dental care tip from your favorite Greenfield and Milwaukee dentist can help you keep your teeth and gums healthier. All it takes is a little conscious effort to do a better job. We’ll talk more about that in Part 2!