Most people know the basics of taking care of their teeth: make sure you brush at least a couple times a day, floss daily, and stay away from sugary foods and drinks that can cause cavities. However, even if you follow those basic guidelines when it comes to taking care of your teeth, your tooth-brushing habits could still be putting your teeth and gums at risk. Specifically, you'll want to avoid making these common brushing mistakes:
Brushing Too Frequently or Too Hard
Brushing a couple times a day is great, so brushing four times a day is even better...right? Not necessarily. Brushing your teeth too much can actually be traumatic on your gums, thus causing irritation. Too much brushing can also expose the root of your teeth to pain and irritation. Brushing your teeth too vigorously can also put your dental health at risk, as the rougher you brush, the more you could damage and wear away your tooth enamel. This, in turn, will leave your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold, in addition to making them more prone to cavities.
Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Believe it or not, the toothbrush you use can have a huge impact on your dental health. And while you don't necessarily need an expensive electric toothbrush to keep your mouth clean, you should invest in a brush with angled bristles. These angled bristles help to dislodge plaque and food particles that toothbrushes with straight bristles could otherwise miss. Furthermore, make sure that the bristles on your toothbrush aren't too hard, as this can be rough on your enamel and irritate your gums. Be sure to replace your toothbrush regularly as well; your dentist should give you a new brush at each of your cleanings.
Not Taking Care of Your Toothbrush
Finally, be careful of how you store your toothbrush. While many people place a cap over their toothbrush to protect them from accumulating bacteria, the truth is that putting a cap on your toothbrush prevents it from drying out after use, which actually makes it more prone to bacteria growth. Also, be sure to rinse your toothbrush with warm water after you're done brushing your teeth, as this will help to cleanse it of any bacteria or food particles left over and keep it clean.
Now that you know the common tooth-brushing mistakes to avoid, how will this change your daily tooth-brushing habits? Talk to a dentist like those at Tamarack Hills Family Dentistry for more guidance to care for your teeth properly.