Your family dentist has likely told you about the importance of brushing your teeth. You might not realize there are some toothbrushing habits that can impact your oral hygiene. Therefore, it is important to identify bad habits and change them immediately to protect your teeth.
Using too much force when brushing
People tend to attack their teeth when brushing, and that is a mistake. They assume this will remove additional bacteria but brushing too hard is damaging to the gums.
How hard should people brush?
Using a gentle touch is the key to brushing. A family dentist will recommend using enough pressure to feel the toothbrush against the gums, but nothing more.
Holding on to a toothbrush for too long
Many people hold on to their toothbrushes as if they are afraid to throw them away. They brush with old toothbrushes that have frayed and broken bristles, and that makes it difficult to properly clean the teeth.
When to replace a toothbrush
A toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months, according to the American Dental Association. However, earlier replacement is necessary if the bristles are frayed or broken. Examine the toothbrush daily to see if it needs to be replaced before the 3-4 months are up.
Using the wrong toothbrush
When buying a toothbrush, people choose the bristle type. It is common to think that harder toothbrushes eliminate more germs and bacteria, but that is not true.
What toothbrush to choose
A soft-bristled brush is the right option. Soft-bristled brushes remove bacteria without hurting the gums.
Failing to brush long enough
Most people spend 45 seconds brushing their teeth. While it might seem like that is enough time, it is not even close.
How long should people brush?
It is recommended that people brush their teeth for a full two minutes. This should be done twice a day. Those who have trouble hitting this goal should set a timer and keep brushing until the timer goes off.
Brushing too soon after eating or drinking
It is normal for people to want to clean their teeth immediately after eating or drinking, but this can damage the enamel. This is especially true after an acidic drink or meal. Brushing right after such a meal can cause the enamel to erode.
When to brush
Wait a minimum of one hour after eating or drinking to brush. This gives the saliva time to neutralize the acid, so it will not be able to wear down the enamel.
Break these bad habits today
Now is the time to break these bad habits. Use the right amount of force, replace toothbrushes when necessary, use a soft-bristled brush and brush for two minutes at a time. Also, wait a full hour after eating and drinking to brush.
When you break your bad habits, your family dentist will notice. Your oral health will improve, and you will love flashing your smile.
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