You’ve probably been brushing your teeth twice a day for as long as you can remember, and toothbrushing is one of the best ways to protect your natural teeth and promote oral health. But if you’re brushing them incorrectly, you can’t get all of the benefits that brushing bestows.
Dr. George Saliba at Gems Dental in Houston, Texas, wants you to enjoy a clean, healthy mouth. Here, he presents some of the most common toothbrushing mistakes and easy tips to correct them.
Many people rush the brushing process. Be sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. If you don’t know how long two minutes is, set a timer.
People who brush with a heavy hand can damage their teeth and gums. Easy does it is better for your mouth.
Take a more gentle approach, and move your toothbrush in circular motions at a 45-degree angle along the surfaces of your teeth. This technique helps loosen food and brush away bacteria between your teeth.
Bacteria collect on your tongue and can cause bad breath and even a higher risk of developing cavities. When you’re brushing, pay attention to your tongue, too, particularly in the back. Consider using a tongue scraper.
Not every toothbrush is right for every person. There are many types of bristles and styles, and choosing the correct toothbrush can prevent damage to your gums and tooth enamel. If you don’t know which toothbrush is right for you, ask Dr. Saliba.
Old toothbrushes are easy to spot — with bristles that are uneven or not straight anymore. These toothbrushes can’t clean your teeth correctly and could irritate your gums.
Replace your toothbrush every three months. You also should replace your brush after you’ve had a bad cold, strep throat, or other spreadable illnesses.
After brushing, rinse your brush thoroughly, which removes bacteria and debris. Let the brush air dry, and store it in a closet or medicine cabinet to shield it from bathroom germs.
It’s important to do a good job cleaning your mouth every time, and that means staying focused on the task. One way to keep toothbrushing from becoming too routine is to change your technique. Use a different pattern — for example, start from the back if you’re used to starting in the front or begin on your bottom teeth instead of your top.
If you’re accustomed to using a manual brush, try an electric toothbrush for a change of pace.
When it comes to toothbrushing, more is not necessarily better. Overbrushing can wear away enamel and irritate your gums. Keep to the recommendation of two minutes each time. You can follow up with a mouthwash for an extra-clean feeling.
If you want more information on good brushing habits or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, call Gems Dental at 281-516-5190, or use our online booking tool.