Avoid These Common Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth

As long as you brush and floss every day, you're doing a good job of caring for your teeth, right? Not necessarily. The way in which you brush is very important. In some cases, brushing improperly may even do more harm than good. Many people make detrimental errors when brushing their teeth, thus rendering their oral hygiene habits less effective than they could be. Avoid these mistakes, and you'll increase your likelihood of staying cavity-free.

Mistake #1: Brushing too quickly.

You can't adequately remove plaque from all of your teeth with a 20-second scrub, but many people only spend this amount of time brushing. Experts recommend spending at least 2 minutes each time you brush your teeth. This gives you time to adequately clean the inside, outside and chewing surfaces. If you have trouble remembering to brush for this long, keep a timer in the bathroom and set it for 2 minutes each time you brush.

Mistake #2: Not brushing after eating.

Some people get into the habit of brushing their teeth as soon as they awake. Then, they eat breakfast, get dressed and head out the door for the day. While brushing first thing in the morning is better than not at all, it's not as effective as brushing after you eat breakfast. This way, the sugar from your orange juice, toast and other favorite breakfast indulgences is not sitting on your teeth all day and contributing to decay.

Mistake #3: Using a brush with bristles that are too hard.

It makes sense to assume that a stiffer brush is more effective, but this is not the case. A brush with bristles that are too hard may damage your tooth enamel. Look for a soft or medium-soft brush to scrub away plaque without causing damage.

Mistake #4: Missing the cavity-prone chewing surfaces of the back molars.

Even when people do spend a full 2 minutes brushing their teeth, they often neglect to spend enough of that time brushing the chewing surfaces of their back molars. The deep grooves in these molars make them susceptible to cavities, since they tend to trap sugar and bacteria. Really focus on these areas to keep them clean.

Good dental hygiene starts with thorough brushing after every meal and flossing once per day. Treat your teeth with respect by avoiding the mistakes above, and you'll be rewarded with a healthy smile and fewer trips to the dentist in the years that follow. Ask a dentist at a clinic like Family Dental Center TriCities, PC for other ways to improve your oral hygiene.