Don’t Make These Tooth Brushing Mistakes

Brushing your teeth is the best way to protect and preserve your natural teeth and your overall oral health. Joe Eckford Jr., DDS, has a passion for helping people keep their teeth healthy and clean with in-office dental cleanings. 

Dr. Eckford also enjoys teaching others how to improve their own oral hygiene habits to prevent cavities, gum disease, and the need for tooth extractions. He offers some insight into what you may be doing wrong when cleaning your teeth and how to make lifelong changes to your tooth brushing regimen. 

8 of the most common toothbrushing mistakes

1. Brushing for less than two minutes

The recommended time to brush your teeth is at least two minutes. If you aren’t sure how long it usually takes you to brush in the morning and before bed, set a timer, and keep brushing until the two-minute mark.

2. Heavy-handed brushing

If you brush with a heavy hand, you may be doing more damage than you realize. Brushing too hard can damage your teeth and your gums.

Take a gentle approach to brushing, and move in a circular motion across the front and back surfaces of all of your teeth at a 45-degree angle. The proper angle and circular movements ensure you loosen food and bacteria from in between your teeth, so your teeth get a good cleaning.

3. Choosing the wrong toothbrush

Because everyone has unique dental needs, it’s important that you check in with Dr. Eckford to determine which type of toothbrush is best for you.

There are a lot of choices available for bristle type and toothbrush style. If you aren’t sure what’s best for your situation, just ask. By using the right toothbrush, you can prevent unnecessary damage to your enamel and your gums.

4. Neglecting your tongue

Your tongue hangs on to a lot of bacteria that both causes bad breath and can increase your risk for cavities. Give your tongue some attention each time you brush to kill off bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

You can also ask Dr. Eckford for advice about over-the-counter tools, like tongue scrapers, to keep your tongue clean and protect your oral health.

5. Ignoring the lifespan of your toothbrush

When you’re brushing twice a day every day of the week, the bristles of your toothbrush will typically wear out after three months. Broken and worn out bristles won’t clean your teeth properly and may even irritate your gums.

Be sure to change out your toothbrush at least every three months. You should also keep a supply of toothbrushes on hand in case you get sick. Exchange your toothbrush after you have a cold, strep throat, and other types of contagious illness.

6. Keep your toothbrush germ-free

After each use, be sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to remove debris and bacteria then let it air dry.

It’s also important to store your toothbrush in a closet or medicine cabinet to protect it from common bathroom germs. For instance, keeping your toothbrush near the toilet increases the risk for germs traveling through the air and onto your brush whenever you flush.

7. Inattentive mistakes

Brushing your teeth can become so routine that you don’t even pay attention to what you're doing. To improve your brushing habits, try using a different pattern each time you brush.

Try starting to brush from the back to the front or switch to an electric toothbrush that makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach spaces.

8. Overbrushing

Though you should be brushing at least two times a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy, over brushing can also carry consequences.

Brushing too often can wear away the enamel on your teeth and also increase your risk for gum damage. Dr. Eckford can recommend the right brushing schedule based on your unique needs to ensure you’re brushing on the right schedule.

If you have questions about how to improve your oral hygiene or need to schedule a professional tooth cleaning appointment, call Houston Precise Dental Care, or request a visit through the online booking feature today.

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