Everyone knows that for optimal oral health, you need to develop a good oral hygiene routine of brushing twice each day for two minutes and flossing. However, have you considered that the techniques you use could be harming your teeth and gums? Certain brushing habits that you may think are beneficial could cause you serious issues and pain down the road. Read on to learn about five patterns you’ll want to stop before they wreak havoc on your oral health.
Brushing Using Too Much Pressure
Plaque and tartar can stick to your teeth, sometimes making them incredibly hard to remove. You’d think that the harder you brush, the more debris and harmful substances you’ll remove from your mouth. You may be surprised to find out that this logic is wrong. Brushing too aggressively can irritate your gums and cause bleeding, swelling, and even recession. If you do it frequently, it can even lead to infections. You may be pleased to know that with gentle, routine brushing and flossing, you’ll be able to effectively remove plaque from your teeth.
Sharing Your Toothbrush With Friends or Family
If you find yourself in a pickle where you need to borrow someone’s toothbrush, even if it’s a close friend’s or partner’s, don’t. It may not seem that bad if you already eat and drink after each other but sharing oral hygiene products can introduce new germs into your mouth that it’s not prepared to fight. You can get yourself sick, plus, toothbrushes hold germs that can cause pneumonia and cavities.
Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
According to the American Dental Association, it’s important to change your toothbrush every season or once your bristles begin to look worn-down or frayed. This helps prevent germs from accumulating and reintroducing them into your mouth. Plus, with frayed bristles, your brush won’t be able to clean your teeth as effectively.
If you’re in a rush, running your toothbrush quickly across your teeth and sprinting out the door doesn’t suffice for the full, two-minute cleaning that the ADA recommends. While brushing your teeth as opposed to not brushing them at all is the better option, you’re still not effectively removing harmful substances that cause oral health problems from your mouth. It’s important to brush for the full two minutes to remove germs, plaque, and food debris that cause cavities, bad breath, and infections.
Cleaning Your Teeth Right After You Eat
If you’re diligent about keeping up with your oral hygiene, you may brush your teeth after each meal. While that’s great that you’re so passionate about maintaining beautiful pearly whites, it could be causing your mouth harm. Right after you eat, acid from the foods and drinks you’ve consumed are still lingering in your mouth. Brushing too soon can allow those acids access to more sensitive parts of your teeth and cause additional enamel erosion. To avoid this, be sure to wait at least 20 minutes before cleaning your mouth after you’ve eaten.
If you didn’t know about some of these harmful brushing habits, now that you do, you’ll be able to keep your mouth healthier and happier than ever. By taking the time to alter your oral hygiene routine, you can improve your overall health and ensure that your teeth and gums stay in tip-top shape for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. John Hackbarth has been dedicated to improving his patients’ oral health for decades. He is passionate about lifelong learning and regularly takes continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in his field. He also routinely seeks hands-on experience to sharpen his skills performing a variety of procedures and treatments. For questions or to schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning, visit Dental Cosmetic Center’s website or call 409-935-2111.