Today is National Brush Day, which is a great time to remind you of the importance of good oral hygiene. Since brushing your teeth is something you do every day, you may not think much about it. But we want to help you avoid some common tooth brushing gotchas. Following brushing best practices helps you avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. It also keeps your smile looking its best.
We’re happy to offer advice on brushing or any other aspect of oral hygiene at your dental exams. Also even the best brushers typically miss bacteria in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. So it’s important to see us regularly – we suggest every six months – for dental cleanings. To schedule an exam and cleaning in Visalia, call us today at 559-608-3533.
In the meantime, check out our list of common tooth brushing mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Scrubbing Too Hard – Don’t treat brushing your teeth like shining a sink or cleaning a tub. Unlike those tasks, you don’t need a lot of elbow grease. In fact, applying too much pressure is bad for tooth your enamel. Always brush gently.
- Hurrying Your Hygiene – Another common mistake is rushing the brush. To get the best results, you need to brush for two full minutes. Some toothbrushes have a timer, but you can also set a timer on your phone. For the most entertaining option, find some two-minute songs you like and cue them up when brushing.
- Skipping Some Spots – Most folks focus on the front side of their teeth and the chewing surfaces. However, it’s important to make sure you also brush the backs of teeth, facing your tongue. Go ahead and brush your tongue too (or use a tongue scraper) since bacteria collects there. Another spot you need to make sure you brush is at the gumline, where teeth meet your gums. Bacteria that accumulates there causes gum disease if it’s not removed.
- Not Choosing the Right Toothbrush – You might figure hard bristles will clean your teeth better than soft ones. This isn’t true. In fact, hard bristles can damage your enamel, leaving it more susceptible to decay. Over time using a hard-bristled brush can cause enamel to wear away, giving your smile a yellowish appearance. Always choose a soft-bristled brush and makes sure the head is small enough to fit easily into your mouth.
- Keeping Your Brush Too Long – We know, you may not want to get rid of your brush if you like it. But to ensure it does a good job cleaning your teeth, you should get a new one (or a new head for an electric toothbrush) every three or four months. Also replace it if you’ve been sick or the bristles are showing heavy wear.