5 Brushing Mistakes You Make

Dental_CareA key component in maintaining good oral health is the dental care we provide to ourselves. On a day-to-day basis, that means brushing your teeth twice, and flossing at least once. But it’s not enough to just brush your teeth – it’s important to do it correctly.

Your dental care could be negatively affected if you’re making any of these brushing mistakes.

Top 5 Teethbrushing Mistakes

  1. Using the wrong brushing technique. Long horizontal strokes – “sawing” along the gumline, in other words – can lead to erosion of gum tissue. Hold your tooth brush at a 45-degree angle relative to your gumline and use short strokes. Gently brush in a circular motion on your teeth.
  2. Using a toothbrush with bristles that are too stiff. The American Dental Assocition recommends brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can irritate your gums.
  3. Being too aggressive when brushing. More frequent and more vigorous brushing is not better after a certain point. If you’re bending the bristles when you brush, you are brushing too hard.
  4. Using an overly abrasive toothpaste. A number of toothpastes designed to whiten teeth or control tartar buildup are actually quite abrasive. Try to pick a toothpaste with a Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) rating of 70 or lower.
  5. Choosing a toothpaste that stains your teeth. Some toothpastes that contain powerful decay-fighting agents also have the potential to cause stains on your teeth. In particular, toothpastes containing stannous flouride and cetylpyridinium chloride can cause brownish stains on your teeth that can be difficult to remove. Read the ingredients on the toothpaste you use carefully.

“Effective toothbrushing doesn’t have to be intense – it actually should be the opposite,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist in private practice in central Phoenix. “Your dental care is best served by brushing gently, using the right brushing motions, and by brushing with the right products and tools.”

 

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