We learn to brush our teeth at a young age. Under the guidance of our parents, we get into the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once per day. But did you know that many of us are brushing incorrectly or are using dental hygiene tools that are actually damaging our teeth?
Check out this list of common tooth brushing mistakes--and make sure you’re not making them.
The American Dental Association recommends switching out your toothbrush or attachment head once every 3-4 months.
But many of us don’t follow this guideline. In fact, many of us keep our toothbrushes for months on end, even after the bristles are frayed. Frayed bristles are hard on your gums, and they don’t remove plaque and food particles, as well as new toothbrush bristle, do.
Aim to replace your toothbrush once every three months.
The ADA recommends brushing gently in short, back-and-forth motions using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
It’s understandable to assume that brushing aggressively will remove more plaque and bacteria and clean your teeth better. And while it is important to brush regularly and thoroughly, pressing down too hard while brushing can actually damage your teeth and gums.
Aggressive brushing has been shown to cause tooth sensitivity, gum recession, gum pain, and even thinning tooth enamel.
You Store Your Toothbrush In An Enclosed Container
Your toothbrush should be stored upright in an open-air container so it has a chance to dry after each use.
Placing your toothbrush in a drawer, travel container or other enclosed container after use doesn’t allow the moisture in your toothbrush to evaporate. This can lead to excess bacteria and germ growth.
The ADA recommends brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. However, studies have shown that the average American doesn’t meet that toothbrushing threshold.
If you have trouble brushing for the recommended amount of time, consider setting a timer before you brush. Over time, you’ll get in the habit of brushing for the recommended two minutes--and your teeth will be healthier for it.
Have more questions about oral health and tooth care habits?
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