6 Tooth Brushing Mistakes That Can Cause Extra Visits to The Dentist
There’s more than one million bacteria on your toothbrush, and although most of them are harmless, some can still hurt your teeth. While daily brushing is essential for keeping your teeth healthy, some mistakes you might be unknowingly making can do more harm than good.
1. You’re rinsing your mouth after brushing.
Although you might be used to rinsing your mouth right after brushing your teeth, doing so can actually make the brushing less effective. Because water dilutes the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste, it may keep you from reaping all of its benefits. If you still feel the need to rinse your mouth out of habit, use a fluoride mouthwash to keep your enamel well protected.
2. You aren’t brushing your tongue.
If you ever noticed bad breath no matter how thoroughly you brushed your teeth, you might want to start brushing your tongue as well. Your taste buds offer bacteria a perfect environment to multiply, and if you’re skipping your tongue, it may eventually cause your breath to smell.
3. You’re flossing too much.
Although flossing is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine and is vital for your gums, you can actually overdo a good thing. There’s no need to floss more than once a day, as harmful bacteria take 4 to 12 hours to develop. While flossing correctly can prevent gum disease, doing it the wrong way might work the other way around and might even lead to gum damage.
4. You’re brushing the wrong way.
Proper technique is important because if you are brushing back and forth in a scrubbing motion, you could be at risk for gum recession and tooth wear. It is better to place the toothbrush on your teeth, then tilt it up a bit so it’s at a 45-degree angle to gums. The brush head should be moved from tooth to tooth, using a small circular motion. For better access, you can try using your left hand to brush the right side of your mouth and your right hand to brush the left side.
5. You use the wrong amount of toothpaste.
In commercials and print ads, toothpaste always covers the bristles of the brush, from beginning to end. But adults only need a pea-sized amount, or half the length of a standard toothbrush. The fluoride in toothpaste is a mineral, and too much of it can change the shape and structure of your teeth.
6. You’re brushing right after eating.
Although brushing your teeth after eating can help keep harmful bacteria at bay, doing it immediately after a meal can actually weaken your enamel. It’s recommended to wait 30 to 60 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth to keep your pearly whites healthy.
Which of these mistakes surprised you the most? Have you been making any of them?