5 Tooth Brushing Mistakes

Practicing a skill frequently helps improve our ability to perform it. Taking advice from an expert or professional can help us perform a skill even more effectively. When it comes to brushing your teeth, you may see yourself as an expert because you’ve been doing it since childhood. However, dental professionals note the impact of improper tooth brushing technique every day as they and their staff provide oral care for their clients. Here are five common mistakes that, if corrected, can lead to improved oral health and a brighter smile.

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5 Brushing Mistakes That May Be Impacting Your Oral Care Routine

  1. Using the wrong brush. There are really two basic guidelines for selecting an effective toothbrush, whether manual or electric: it should be able to reach all the surfaces of the teeth in your mouth and it should have soft bristles.
  2. Not replacing your toothbrush regularly. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your brush every two to three months. Otherwise, the bristles become less effective as they become worn, and bacteria and food particles can accumulate on them.
  3. Forgetting to brush all the surfaces of your teeth. Your brush needs to be able to help you clean the inner surfaces of your teeth, the chewing surfaces of each tooth, and the molars in the very back of your mouth. Every visible part of your tooth needs attention when you brush.
  4. Using improper technique. There is now greater agreement among dentists about the brushing technique that provides the best oral care. To brush properly, orient your brush at a 45-degree angle to your tooth’s surface, and brush using short, circular motions along the gumline.
  5. Neglecting to clean the rest of your mouth. In addition to thoroughly cleaning your teeth using your brush, you should also scrape your tongue with it after brushing. This removes harmful bacteria on your tongue and it also may improve the freshness of your breath!

“There’s no reason to be embarrassed if you’re wondering if you’re brushing your teeth effectively,” says Dr. Melanie Bauer, a dentist in practice at Dr. Carol Ford & Associates in central Phoenix. “We are glad to coach you on any oral care topic, so that you can experience the best possible self-care regimen.”

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