Can You Clean Your Teeth Too Often? Common Mistakes You Might Be Making When Cleaning Your Teeth

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy smile and overall well-being. However, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to cleaning your teeth.

It’s not uncommon for people to make mistakes when cleaning their teeth and gums. While you may have the best intentions, some practices can be more harmful than helpful to your smile.

So, can you clean your teeth too often? Let’s answer this question and look at some other common mistakes people make when cleaning their teeth, including tips on teeth whitening in Asheville.

Cleaning Your Teeth Too Often

Yes, it is possible to clean your teeth too often. Your teeth only need to be brushed two times a day for two minutes each time, ideally first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

Brushing your teeth more often increases the chances of irritating your gum tissue or damaging your tooth enamel, especially if you’re brushing aggressively or with a stiff-bristled toothbrush.

As long as you brush your teeth properly, twice a day is all that’s needed to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Brushing Too Aggressively

Brushing your teeth too harshly can damage your tooth enamel, especially if you use a toothbrush with firm bristles. Brushing with excessive force can lead to enamel erosion, which is irreversible. Enamel erosion can cause problems such as tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, and a higher risk of cavities.

Aggressive brushing can also irritate the gum tissue, leading to red, irritated, and swollen gums, as well as gum recession that can also cause painful sensitivity and lead to longer-looking teeth.

While it’s important to brush your teeth, it’s equally important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply gentle pressure. You don’t need to brush harshly to remove plaque and keep your teeth clean, so be gentle.

Brushing Immediately After Eating

Brushing your teeth immediately after eating might seem like the best way to maintain oral hygiene, but it can actually hurt your teeth.

Your tooth enamel is porous and can become softer after you eat or drink certain foods and beverages, like citrus fruits, sugar, or alcohol.

The American Dental Association (ADA) advises waiting 30-60 minutes after a meal (or consuming anything other than water) before brushing. This waiting period allows saliva to neutralize acids in the oral cavity, preventing tooth enamel damage from brushing immediately afterward.

Brushing too soon after eating can damage softened tooth enamel, especially after consuming sugary or acidic foods or beverages.

Not Flossing Correctly

Flossing is essential to maintaining oral health, yet many people do not floss correctly or skip it entirely. You should be flossing once a day for optimal oral health.

When you don’t floss correctly, you don’t remove plaque from between your teeth, which can increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. So, what is the correct way to floss?

Use an 18-inch piece of floss and curve it into a “C” shape around each tooth, scraping the sides of each tooth just below the gumline. Flossing properly removes plaque and lowers your risk of gum disease and cavities between the teeth.

Not Changing Your Toothbrush Head

It’s essential to change your toothbrush head every few months to prevent fraying bristles that can damage your smile. As you use your toothbrush, the bristles can become worn out, providing a less effective clean and even harming your tooth enamel or gum tissue.

Aim to change your toothbrush head every three months and keep a spare toothbrush or toothbrush head on hand for when it’s time to swap it out. If you find that your toothbrush’s bristles are wearing out before the three-month mark, you may be brushing your teeth with too much force.

Not Brushing Your Tongue

Many people don’t realize just how much bacteria is on their tongue. There are 20 billion microbes on the tongue, and while not all of them are bad, some can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Not brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth can lead to bad breath and even affect your sense of taste.

Some people choose to use a tongue scraper, which is a special tool designed for removing bacteria from the tongue, but this isn’t strictly necessary. Using your toothbrush is usually enough to keep your tongue clean and your breath fresh!

Using Mouthwash as a Substitute for Brushing

Mouthwash can be a helpful supplement to your oral health routine, but it’s not always needed, and it should never be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing. Alcohol-based mouthwashes can sometimes cause more harm than good, drying out the oral cavity and causing soft tissue irritation.

Using mouthwash as a replacement for brushing doesn’t get rid of the plaque that has built up on teeth, which needs to be removed manually. So, even if you choose to use mouthwash, you still need to brush and floss to protect your smile.

Not Choosing an ADA-Approved Toothpaste

Using a toothpaste that’s ADA-approved is essential to protecting your smile. ADA toothpastes contain fluoride and typically have ingredients that protect tooth enamel, reduce sensitivity, and prevent tartar buildup for healthy teeth and gums.

Remember that toothpastes that are not ADA-approved may contain abrasive ingredients such as charcoal or may not have fluoride, meaning you’re not getting the full protection against decay and could even be harming your smile.

Assuming You Are Doing a Good Job

Just because you brush and floss your teeth every day doesn’t automatically mean that your smile is healthy. Many people brush their teeth but consistently miss certain areas or don’t floss correctly.

Only your dentist can tell if you are cleaning your teeth well enough to prevent common oral health issues, so it’s imperative to get a dental exam every six months or as your dentist recommends to maintain your oral health.

Your  family dentist in Asheville can identify areas that require special attention, educate you on correct techniques, and provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs so you can take proper care of your smile.

Get Your Smile Checked Up Today at Saunders DDS

While practicing good oral hygiene is essential, it’s just as important to avoid common mistakes that can negatively impact your dental health. Are you taking good care of your smile? Find out by scheduling a check-up with Saunders DDS today. Call us at (828) 277-6060 or reach us online to request your appointment.

Take charge of your oral health today with Asheville teeth cleanings. Contact us now to schedule an appointment and discover the difference!

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