You may think you’re keeping your smile healthy just because you brush your teeth each morning, but if you have bad brushing habits, it may be ineffective or even doing more harm than good. Here are some bad brushing habits to kick to the curb.
- Using the wrong kind of toothbrush: Toothbrushes that are too old are not as effective at cleaning your teeth, so you need to switch them out every 3-4 months. You may make a mental note to switch to a new brush after every appointment with your dentist and then swap toothbrushes again midway through until your next appointment. You should also take a look at the texture of the bristles on your toothbrush. Soft bristles are best, as medium or hard bristles may be too rough on your teeth.
- Brushing for too short a time: You should spend about two minutes brushing your teeth to make sure that you clean every surface thoroughly, but most people spend about 45 seconds on this important task. Electronic brushes often have a built-in timer to make it easier. Also, you should be sure to brush twice each day for optimal oral health.
- Using improper technique: If you’re brushing too hard or neglecting the area along your gumline, you can cause your teeth and gums to break down or give plaque and tartar the opportunity to accumulate. Take care to angle your toothbrush along the gumline and use a firm but gentle touch. You can check in with your dentist at your next visit if you need a refresher on proper brushing technique.
- Brushing at the wrong time: If you brush your teeth after you eat breakfast, acids from your meal may weaken your teeth and brushing can be detrimental. Either brush before you eat or wait until 30 minutes after a meal to brush.
- Storing your toothbrush in a closed container: Germs can build up on your toothbrush if it’s kept in a closed container or space for an extended period of time. It’s best to store a toothbrush in a holder that has separate spaces for each toothbrush in your household.
It may be helpful to review your brushing habits with your dentist at your next checkup to make sure that you’re not doing anything that might be detrimental to your oral health. Call us at the office of Dr. Kozlow to schedule your next appointment.