Are You Making These 7 Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth? | Saunders DDS
  • A Family Dentist in Asheville NC | Cosmetic and Emergency Dental Services in 28803, 28806, 28804

  • Asheville dentist

    Are You Making These 7 Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth?

    by Saunders DDS on February 13, 2018

    Brushing your teeth is an act that’s done for two minutes two times a day—but how thoroughly are you brushing your teeth during those two minutes?

    Paying attention to the areas that you brush is important. Hasty or incorrect brushing can lead to plaque buildup, tartar, and eventually, tooth decay and gum disease.

    There are numerous mistakes that people make every day when brushing their teeth. Here, we talk about some of those mistakes as well as how they affect your smile.

    Are you making these 7 mistakes when brushing your teeth? Read on to find out more!

    1. Brushing Too Soon

    Brushing immediately after you eat can be damaging to teeth. Why is this?

    Your tooth enamel is porous, so whatever you eat, it affects your enamel. This means that if you eat acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemons, oranges, or sugary substances, your enamel is temporarily weakened by these substances due to the lowered pH level of your saliva.

    During this time period—which lasts about 30 minutes—brushing your teeth can be very harmful. In fact, you can brush your enamel off over periods of time if you do this often enough. This can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and heightened cavity risk, since your enamel is no longer there to protect your teeth from the temperature of foods or harmful bacteria.

    Regardless of what you eat, it’s a good idea to wait at least 30 minutes to brush afterward!

    1. Brushing Too Often

    Brushing your teeth too often can be just as damaging as not brushing your teeth at all. If you brush after every meal, you’re again setting up your teeth for enamel damage, especially if you’re brushing too soon.

    Since plaque takes several hours to fully form, you have a pretty solid time window to brush your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes two times a day. Brushing any more frequently than this or for any longer can hurt your teeth more than help.

    Follow up with your dentist in Asheville to determine if you’re brushing too much!

    1. Not Brushing Your Gums

    Your gums play an important role in the health of your teeth. This tissue helps support the ligaments that anchor your teeth in place.

    Gums should be brushed gently just at the gumline, where the gum tissue meets your teeth. Bacteria can build up here and cause gum disease if not removed. You can do this by positioning your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to gently remove bacteria.

    When you only brush your teeth and completely neglect your gumline, you could be missing harmful bacteria that can affect not only your gums, but your teeth as well.

    1. Not Brushing Your Tongue

    Your tongue contains bacteria just like the rest of your mouth. These bacteria should ideally be removed with a toothbrush once per day. Although some of these bacteria are helpful, others can cause bad breath.

    Bacteria on your tongue can get trapped by a layer of mucus. Fortunately, these bacteria are easy to remove with just your toothbrush. In the morning during your normal brushing routine, start at the back of your tongue and begin brushing your way towards the front.

    Remember that similarly to your teeth, little pressure is needed to actually remove bacteria and to help you have a healthy mouth. Brushing your tongue aggressively simply isn’t necessary and can be harmful!

    1. Brushing Too Hard

    Brushing too hard doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can lead to some major oral health problems if done regularly.

    Plaque isn’t difficult to remove—it can easily be scrubbed away with a soft-bristled toothbrush. There’s simply no need for aggressive brushing.

    In fact, brushing too hard can wear away tooth enamel over time. This is especially true if you’re doing one of the bad habits we discussed earlier, which is brushing your teeth too often or brushing your teeth immediately after eating a meal.

    When you brush too hard and risk removing tooth enamel, this can actually have the opposite effect, which is increasing your risk for cavities due to lack of protective enamel.

    When you brush, remember that quality matters more than quantity, so brush carefully and give attention to each individual tooth. You don’t need a firm toothbrush or to scrub really hard in order to remove plaque and have a beautiful smile.

    1. Picking the Wrong Toothbrush

    Is the toothbrush you’re using a firm-bristled one? If so, you may be picking the wrong toothbrush.

    Many people don’t need a firm toothbrush to brush their teeth. These types of toothbrushes can make it easy to brush too aggressively and harm the teeth and gums. Harsh brushing combined with a firm toothbrush can also aggravate existing conditions such as gum disease.

    Instead, trying switching to a soft-bristled, or if you like a bit of firmness, a medium-bristled toothbrush. See how it feels to brush your teeth with these softer toothbrushes.

    When your toothbrush bristles are softer and have more flexibility to them, not only are they more gentle on your teeth, but they also allow you to reach into tight spaces easier.

    You can always follow up with your Asheville dentist to determine if the type of toothbrush you’re using is beneficial and what type would be best for your unique smile.

    1. You’re Rushing

    If your oral care routine includes a quick brush in the morning and evenings because you’re rushing, you might want to re-think your brushing habits.

    Brushing when you’re in a hurry and not taking the time to ensure each tooth is brushed accordingly can set you up for cavities. Removing plaque from all the spaces in your teeth can be difficult enough as is, rushing only makes missing areas on your teeth easier.

    Instead of rushing, be sure you have enough time for your oral care routine in both the morning and evening. Be sure you’re not multi-tasking while brushing your teeth. Give complete attention to the task, this way you can be sure you’re not brushing the same areas over and over again while missing others.

    A comprehensive dental exam with your Asheville dentist as well as a professional cleaning can help you better take care of your smile!

    Want to Brush Better?

    When it comes to brushing your teeth, making mistakes can cost you in cavities. Are you making these 7 mistakes when it comes to your beautiful smile? Dr. Saunders can help you determine which areas you’re missing that need more attention as well as what you’re doing well.

    Schedule an appointment with us to determine what mistakes you’re making and how you can better your daily brushing habits!

    Previous post:

    Next post: