Everyone dreams of having a beautiful set of pearly white teeth. However, having white teeth requires commitment and consistency. Many cosmetic procedures can be avoided by exercising proper oral hygiene. Here are some common teeth cleaning mistakes you must avoid for strong and healthy teeth.
Failing to Replace Your Toothbrush
According to the American Dental Association, you should change your toothbrush every three to four months. Old toothbrushes have broken or frayed bristles that don't clean your mouth effectively. You should also replace your toothbrush if you have recently suffered an illness. This is because the germs of your infection tend to hide between the toothbrush bristles and could reinfect you.
When picking a replacement toothbrush, choose one with soft bristles that is able to reach all the corners of your mouth. Alternatively, buy an electric toothbrush because it is more effective at cleaning than a manual brush.
Brushing Too Quickly
Many people only brush for a few seconds, provided they touch the surface of all their teeth. Dental experts advise people to brush their teeth for two minutes twice every day. Brushing for at least two minutes gives the fluoride in your toothpaste enough time for absorption into your enamel. To ensure you dedicate enough time to brushing your teeth, use a timer every time you brush.
Additionally, you shouldn't rinse your mouth with water after brushing. This will rinse the fluoride and will not give it time to absorb in your enamel. Instead, you can rinse your teeth with a fluoride mouthwash.
Brushing Too Hard
You may think the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be. However, brushing too hard damages your enamel and makes your teeth susceptible to sensitivity and cavities. Moreover, exerting too much pressure on your enamel results in receding gums. This exposes the roots of your teeth, which increases your chances of tooth decay.
To avoid brushing too hard, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Your brushing technique will also make a difference. For example, try holding your toothbrush with your non-dominant hand or with only your fingers. This will ensure you brush with less pressure. Also, ensure your brushing technique covers your tongue, gum line, and the roof of your mouth.
Failing to Floss
Many people think brushing their teeth twice daily is enough to protect them from germs. The truth is, if you don't floss daily, you set the stage for gum disease. Your toothbrush cannot reach all the areas of your mouth. Flossing helps remove food debris, bacteria, and plaque trapped between the teeth and under the gums.
Contact a local dentist, such as Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA, to learn more.