5 Brushing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

elderly woman looking in the bathroom mirror brushing her teeth

You probably don’t think too much about the way you brush, but you could be brushing the wrong way. Here, we’ll explain 5 brushing mistakes to avoid at all costs.

1. You’re Using the Wrong Brush

When you’re standing in front of the toothbrush selections at the pharmacy, you may wonder what exactly is the difference between all these brushes and whether it even matters. Well, it does. It’s vital that you use a soft bristle toothbrush. This is because a softer bristle allows the bristles to bend and therefore reach around and get under the gums. This allows the bristles to really get rid of the bacteria and plaque buildup and help minimize the risk of cavities and gum disease developing. Hard bristles are too stiff and can actually be too hard on your teeth.

2. You Don’t Spend Enough Time Brushing

The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time you brush. However, most people might not brush their teeth for that entire time, especially if they’re in a rush getting out the door for work or are so tired that they can’t wait to crash into bed. However, it’s really important that you brush your teeth for two minutes. A lot of electric toothbrushes have built in timers so that it’ll alert you for when the two minutes are up. You could also do it old school and set a timer yourself. Whichever way you set the time, you need to spend at least two minutes brushing every day.

3. You Brush Too Aggressively

Some people might think that the harder you brush, the cleaner you will make your teeth. However, when you brush too hard, you can actually harm the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects the softer parts of your teeth from bacteria and acids. When the enamel is weakened, your teeth become vulnerable to tooth decay. Therefore, don’t scrub your teeth, but think about massaging them instead.

4. You’re Brushing in the Wrong Direction

A common brushing mistake is that people often brush their teeth in a left to right motion. This often makes people sort of scrub their teeth and again they tend to brush too hard. Instead, think about massaging your teeth with little circular up and down motions. If you brush left and right you aren’t really cleaning your teeth either so it’s important to use the correct motion.

5. You Don’t Brush Along Your Gum Line

Bacteria love to hang out at the place where your teeth meets your gums, but a lot of people forget to brush there. A lot of people think about the chewing surface of their teeth when they brush but the gum line is also very important. To properly brush along the gum line, position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line. And don’t forget to brush along the gum line on the outside and inside of the teeth.

Tyler Dentist Ashley Laird, DDS Cares About Your Oral Health

If you have any other questions about brushing mistakes you might be making, or any other oral health issues, don’t hesitate to contact us. If it’s time to schedule an appointment with our dental office in Tyler, TX, we would love to hear from you!

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