It’s not enough to brush for the prescribed number of minutes per day. You have to brush properly, with an eye to getting all particles of food out of your mouth, for brushing to have the desired effect.
At Greenwich Dentistry in Greenwich, Connecticut, dentists Drs. Mark and Sean Sutton want your oral health to be the best it can be. That’s why they have put together this handy list of the most common brushing mistakes to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy until your next dental visit.
Top five common brushing mistakes
Here are the five most common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth:
1. Brushing for too short a time
You really do need to brush for at least two minutes, but most people’s guesstimate this time period and guess low. Set a timer or play a fave song while you brush to get you into a good mood and make brushing fun.
2. Overzealous brushing
Your teeth need a scrubbing, but make it more of a “massage” than a scouring the saucepan kind of cleaning. Pay attention to all the surfaces and angles and don’t feel the need to attack the task of toothbrushing; gentle is better.
3. Using the wrong kind of brush
Some people assume a stiffer bristle leads to a more thorough clean, but that isn’t true — stiff, coarse toothbrush bristles can actually harm your gums. Look for a brush with fine, soft bristles that are close together and can bend under pressure.
4. Not changing brushes often enough
Toothbrushes wear out every three to four months — sooner if you are a frequent brusher. When bristles look frayed, they lean or out from the center of the brush, or they all bend over in one direction, you’re past due for a new one. Keeping a spare is a good idea in case you realize your brush is used up and need a new one in the evening. You should also change your brush anytime you have been ill and have started recovering.
5. Skipping the gums
Your gum line is a border that bacteria love to cross, sneaking under the gum to grow on the surfaces of teeth below. Over time, this creates small pockets in the gums around the teeth, and this can lead to gum disease and infection. Brush the entire gum line in small circles and rinse well.
Worried about your tooth brushing technique? Ask about getting a brushing and flossing demonstration at your next cleaning. You can schedule an appointment today by calling our office at 203-869-2066 or by booking online.