Do you remember when your parents used to tell you “Go brush your teeth”? Sometimes they even did teach you how to brush. However, there are still a number of mistakes people make when brushing their teeth. Here is a lit of common mistakes that you can avoid:
- Not spending enough time and rushing through it: the same as rushing through washing dishes or vacuuming the floors; if you rush through them, chances are you miss not only one but a few spots. The only thing is that a few small corners of the room with some dust usually doesn’t cause pain but not cleaning the teeth properly could! So make sure that you spend at least 2 minutes (30 seconds per quadrant). Electric toothbrushes are great that way – since they time the action for you.
- Just brushing one surface of the teeth and not all: Food and beverages are not just on the biting surface of the teeth but also on the sides (cheek as well as the tongue). So make sure that you brush all surfaces. And if you find that you tend to gather more plaque on a particular surface more than the others, then spend more time on that.
- Avoiding the gum junction: A lot of people shy away from the area that teeth are meeting the gums and consequently they start accumulating plaque there which long term turns into tartar, causing gum inflammation and recession and in some cases bone resorption when left there long enough. So brush them!
- Using the incorrect toothbrush hardness: it used to be that you could find hard bristled toothbrush everywhere but as of a few years ago (thankfully) you can’t! The reason is that hard bristled toothbrushes, although felt great when cleaning the teeth, they also would abrade the teeth and gums (meaning would wear them out and away). You can still find mediums but generally speaking, it’s best to stay with soft or sometimes even extra soft to avoid such issues as gums receding from hardness of the toothbrush and the resulting sensitivity or indentations on the necks of the teeth that are sensitive to cold.
- Having a favorite section in the mouth (usually the front): meaning not brushing the back teeth as much as the front for instance which usually results in large decays in the back. The thing is that those back teeth are super important even though they’re not seen often when one smiles. Not only are they the main chewing areas but also important supports for the front teeth, since if you wouldn’t have them, the front teeth would wear down and the bite would collapse in no time (as it does in many cases).
- Overbrushing: yes, there is such a phenomenon! it’s not often but sometimes you see people who overbrush to a degree that they start wearing down the enamel (most outer layer of the tooth) or the gums .. as much as it’s great to be a good brusher, like anything else, overdoing it actually harms the teeth.
- Using the wrong size toothbrush: if you have a small mouth or a tight cheek space, and trying to use a large headed toothbrush there, chances are you’re not going far back with it.. there are people who should be using kids’ size toothbrush (not because they’re acting like one..) but because their mouth would not allow a larger one otherwise. and there’s nothing wrong with that! The brush needs to have maneuver space in the mouth; otherwise, you can’t control it well and could either do nothing really or damage the gums. Again, the electric toothbrushes are good in this sense because they’re typically on the smaller end and fit well.
- Not changing the brush often enough: if the bristles are flaring outwards, they won’t be doing what they’re supposed to and so you’d be wasting your time when brushing. should also change them after a bad sickness (cold/flu) as your oral bacteria typically change during a sickness and you don’t want to reintroduce them back to your mouth after you’ve overcome a tough cold episode!