Brushing is an essential part of maintaining great dental health. To keep your smile sparkling, we recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time. While brushing isn’t complicated, it is possible to make some mistakes. Here are five brushing habits that may be negatively affecting your oral health.
Bad habit #1: Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush
We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles may seem like they would be better at removing plaque, but that isn’t the case. They can also actually hurt your gums and cause them to recede from your teeth. Brushing too vigorously, even with a soft-bristled toothbrush, also irritates your gums.
Bad habit #2: Ignoring your gums and tongue
Bacteria collects on your gums and tongue, as well as on your teeth. Using a circular brushing motion, brush and massage your gum line every time you clean your teeth. Brushing your tongue removes bacteria and helps with bad breath!
Bad habit #3: Brushing immediately after a meal
After eating, you might think it’s a good idea to brush right away and not let the food sit on your teeth. However, you want to let your saliva do some of the work first. This is especially true with acidic food since your saliva neutralizes acids that soften your tooth enamel. You want to avoid brushing when your enamel is softened. Wait about a half-hour after eating.
Bad habit #4: Brushing back and forth
Many people brush going left to right. Unfortunately, this makes it easy to miss the gum line. We recommend brushing in an up-and-down motion in small circles. You’ll cover the entire surface of each tooth and clean your gum line.
Bad habit #5: Not replacing your toothbrush often enough
The last bad brushing habit is forgetting to replace your toothbrush. Around three months, the bristles fray and don’t clean your teeth well, no matter how long you brush. The bristles might fray even earlier than three months, so keep an eye on your brush and replace it when it’s worn out.
Take care of your oral health at Atlantic Dental Partners
Along with good brushing habits, regular checkups at Atlantic Dental Partners protect your smile. We offer services like cleanings, exams, restorative dentistry, and more at our locations in Malden and Jamaica Plain. If you have questions about the proper way to care for your teeth or you want to book an appointment, please contact us!