5 Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth

December 16, 2011

Are You Brushing Correctly?

Hopefully you brush at least two times everyday. The only downside to a healthy habit is that it becomes so ingrained; you might neglect doing a good job.

Aside from the best practices at home, you need to visit Dr. Greenfield so that our team can help you remove any tartar, or plaque, buildup. Tartar is impossible to avoid, but easy to control, especially if you visit Dr. Greenfield every six months. Below are five helpful reminders about best brushing practices.

1 – Brushing Too Much or Not Enough

The ADA recommends that you brush 2-3 times everyday. Additionally, you should think of flossing as part of your brushing routine. Flossing is the only way to brush between teeth. If you don’t floss, you aren’t removing a significant portion of plaque, which causes plaque to harden and turn into tartar.  You can’t completely prevent tartar, but if you work to control plaque, you’ll be in a much better situation.

2 – Not Taking the Time To Brush

If you don’t brush for at least two minutes each time, then you are most likely not covering every surface in your mouth. Bacteria grow incessantly in your mouth throughout the day and rapidly throughout the night. Divide your mouth up into four quadrants and brush each section for 30 seconds. When you shorten the time like this it might be easier to pay attention to each area.

3 – Starting in the Same Place

If you’re using the quadrant method, and even if you’re not, be sure to start in a new location every time you go to brush your teeth. As creatures of habit, it’s comfortable to do things the same every time, but the problem with doing things in the exact same order is that you’re bound to get lazy—meaning your brushing won’t be as effective.

4 – Not Using Proper Technique

When you brush, try not to use horizontal stokes because this can cause abrasions to the gums. Instead, angle your brush at 45 degrees and with short strokes, brush up and down, not across your teeth. Lastly, don’t forget your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth.

5 – Not Changing Out Brushes Often Enough

The ADA says that you should change your brush every 3-4 months. However,  you shouldn’t just go with a number. Inspect your brush on a regular basis to make sure it’s doing a sufficient job. If the bristles look frayed, lose flexibility, or break off its time to get a new one. The time it takes for a brush to wear out depends on the construction of the bristles, and how often you’re brushing.

Proper oral hygiene fights cavities and gum disease, and regular dental cleanings go where brushing can’t. If you haven’t seen Dr. Greenfield in the last six months, schedule your next checkup soon. Call Lake Orion Family Dentistry today at (248) 693-6213 to schedule your appointment. We care for patients in Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Oxford, Waterford, and Leonard.

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