When it comes to properly brushing the teeth, many patients can use a refresher to ensure they are truly getting to the bacteria that love to linger on the teeth and in between their surfaces. By following some of our tips for successfully brushing your teeth, you can sport a healthier smile.
Mistake: You Do Not Brush Long Enough
If you are brushing your teeth for less than two minutes, you’re not brushing long enough. However, many of our busy patients think a quick brushing episode will be sufficient to clean your teeth. The truth is that some things, such as brushing your teeth and washing your hands, must take time to do well. Next time you brush, use your phone’s timer or follow along with the average timing of a television commercial break, which tends to be two to three minutes in length. Some dental manufacturers also have toothbrushes that have timers to alert you when you have been brushing for two minutes or longer.
Many people brush side-to-side when circular brushing is considered more beneficial. However, you can brush in a straight line when you are brushing the portions of your teeth responsible for chewing.
Mistake: Your Toothbrush Bristles Are Too Hard
The popular belief is the harder the toothbrush bristles, the better the tooth cleaning. However, this is far from true. Toothbrush bristles that are too hard can cause small abrasions to your teeth that weaken them overall. Unless you are directed otherwise, most people can benefit from using a soft or ultrasoft toothbrush.
In addition to getting a soft toothbrush, refrain from brushing too hard. Pressing down too hard on your teeth can have a similar effect to using too-hard tooth bristles.
Mistake: You Don’t Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
You brush your teeth to remove bacteria — not to add more bacteria to the teeth. However, if you do not replace your toothbrush every three months, adding bacteria to the teeth is exactly what you are doing. Some people may even need to replace their toothbrush more frequently. Signs it’s time to purchase a new toothbrush include if your toothbrush bristles appear worn, are frayed or are bent. These alterations to your brush’s fibers make them more vulnerable to harboring bacteria.
Another tip to minimizing tooth bacteria includes rinsing your brush with hot water after using it. Allowing your brush to dry completely between uses can also help.