We all know the recommendations: brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Regardless of how much we hear this, though, it’s reported that one in every five Americans admits they don’t follow this recommendation, according to a survey by the NY Post. It’s even possible to be following this recommendation and still be brushing your teeth incorrectly. Not only should you brush your teeth often, but you must also be brushing correctly for good dental care. Let’s look at a few things you should not be doing when brushing.
1. Don’t Rush When You Brush
Starting with the basics, you shouldn’t rush through teeth brushing. You need to spend two minutes brushing your teeth each time you brush. The average person brushes their teeth for 45 seconds. It’s hard to tell how long you are brushing unless you have a timer on your brush or in the bathroom. If you divide your mouth into four sections (Upper right, upper left, lower left, and lower right) then try and brush each section for 30 seconds before moving to the next section, that way you ensure you are getting the full two minutes. If you struggle with this, use a timer to ensure you’re doing a thorough job.
2. Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure
Some people think that harder is better, but that’s not necessarily true for brushing your teeth. If you apply too much pressure, you could damage your enamel and your gums, which could put you at risk for cavities, or infection, but especially recession, which leads to sensitivity.
3. Don’t Use Low-Quality Toothpaste
All toothpaste isn’t created equal. You should talk with your dentist about which type of toothpaste is best for dental care. You want a toothpaste that provides you with protection from either cavities, sensitivity, gum health, whitening, or to freshen your breath based on your specific dental needs. We would be more than happy to make recommendations on what would be best for you and provide samples for you to try!
4. Don’t Leave Out Flossing
It’s important to make sure that you’re not only brushing your teeth properly but that you’re also regularly flossing. It’s recommended to floss at least once a day to remove the plaque from between your teeth. Flossing is essential because your toothbrush isn’t able to reach the spaces between your teeth even though plaque can build up there. Floss allows you to remove that plaque before it hardens into tartar and puts you at risk for cavities. Did you know that “bad breath bacteria” comes from in between your teeth and from your tongue? Just another reason why flossing and even using the back of a spoon to scrape your tongue can help freshen your breath!
Properly brushing and flossing your teeth is important for taking care of your dental health, and so is visiting your dentist at least once every six months. If you’re looking for a new dentist and you’re ready to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to Phillips & Schmitt today.