Yes, There are Wrong Ways to Brush Your Teeth.
Brushing your teeth is kind of like riding a bike. We learn how to do it at a young age and it just feels like second nature to us. The only difference, however, is that there are very few ways you can ride a bike incorrectly. While the idea that there’s a wrong way to brush your teeth sounds silly, but you can actually be hurting your smile if you’re guilty of some common incorrect brushing habits.
Our team at Acosta Dental Arts has seen our fair share of clients who are committed to brushing regularly, but their technique has done little to benefit their teeth in the long run. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of these incorrect techniques in order to ensure your efforts reap healthy results.
Let’s explore some brushing habits that can be damaging your oral health and what you can do to improve the way you brush your teeth.
Brushing your teeth in a back and forth motion
Proper technique is everything when brushing your teeth the right way. Believe it or not, brushing in a circular motion is much more effective than a back and forth motion. The bristles of the brush should be at a 45 degree angle to the gumline, which helps focus on a couple of teeth at a time when brushing. By practicing this technique, it also allows you to clean under the gums and tackle plaque that hides in that area. The circular, angled motion helps prevent over-brushing teeth (another factor that can affect the quality of your teeth).
Brushing in an aggressive manner
Hey, we’re passionate about teeth brushing, too—but harder brushing doesn’t necessarily guarantee cleaner teeth. The bacteria and food particles that linger in your teeth after a meal are soft enough in texture to be brushed away gently. Brushing with too much vigor can cause the gums to recede, and receding gums can cause a significant amount of sensitivity in the teeth. This sensitivity makes it harder to brush teeth comfortably, but can easily be avoided by easing the amount of pressure used.
Brushing too little
This a topic that we like to cover with our patients when assessing their brushing habits. Brushing your teeth for 20 seconds at a time does little to keep your smile clean. Your mouth requires special attention in all areas, and brushing for a minimum of 2 minutes will help ensure these areas are coated with cleansing toothpaste and cleaned of all lingering food and bacteria. Brushing too little can lead to a build-up of bacteria that promotes tooth decay.
Brushing too often is bad, too
This concept is similar to brushing aggressively. Brushing more than the recommended 2-3 times a day is a bit excessive. Not only is it excessive, but it can yield painful consequences. Over-brushing your teeth can lead to irritated gums and can lead to inflammation and even infection. So, how much time are we really spending on brushing our teeth? This fun infographic by Greatist breaks down our brushing habits down to the minute.
Not replacing your toothbrush
Your toothbrush won’t last forever, which makes it important to care for it while you can still use it. Nevertheless, dentists suggest replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, but many people go much longer without replacing it. The bristles on your toothbrush will eventually begin to weaken and splay out. At this point, it becomes harder to clean teeth and gums properly, which can lead to an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. So, while your twice-a-day brushing routine may seem healthy, you’re holding yourself back from a much healthier smile that regular toothbrush replacement provides.You might like: “Is An Electric Toothbrush Better Than A Traditional Toothbrush?“
Don’t Let These Bad Brushing Habits Ruin Your Smile!
Now that you know how not to brush your teeth, assessing your smile with a dental professional can ensure you’re doing it the right way. At Acosta Dental Arts, we’re here to assist clients in North Palm Beach and surrounding area with their tooth brushing needs. Much like riding a bike for the first time, sporting a clean, bright smile is something you should be proud of. Make the most of your oral hygiene efforts and contact us today for a Free Smile Assessment.