Reader’s Digest recently came out with a list of ways you may be brushing your teeth the wrong way. This is relevant because many people can cause serious harm to their teeth by using improper techniques. Let’s take a look at each tip they listed.
You’re brushing too hard:
When you clean you kitchen or scrub your bathroom, you want to put some firm pressure on the surface. The harder and longer you clean, the better the result. But with your teeth that logic can become a problem. If you brush too hard you can wear away the gums and even the underlying tooth.
Your angle is off:
Brushing straight across isn’t the best way to clean your teeth and gums. You should angle the brush at 45 degrees towards the gums. You should also make small circles with your brush to properly clean any debris.
The exception to that rule is an electric toothbrush. They are designed to go straight onto the tooth and you just need to hold it there for a few seconds.
Your toothbrush bristles are too firm:
You should always use a soft bristled brush. If you use a hard bristle brush you are much more likely to abrade the gums and the tooth. Soft brushes also do a better job cleaning under the gums.
Your toothbrush head is too big:
Bigger is not always better. Unless you have an unusually large mouth, smaller heads give you more control and easier access to difficult areas.
You’ve had the same tooth brush since last year:
If the bristles are splayed out and look worn, they are no longer as effective at cleaning the teeth and gums.
You don’t consider flossing mandatory:
Brushing alone is not enough to maintain good oral health. There are certain areas that will remain untreated even to the best brushers. Flossing helps reduce the chances of gum disease and from decay developing in between the teeth.
It’s no big deal to skip brushing your teeth before bed:
This is a bad idea. You have ingested all kinds of food and drink during the day and the remnants can remain on your teeth. If not cleaned off before bed, it allows another 6-8 hours of unimpeded progression of any harmful bacteria.
For more information, visit www.dentistwestchester.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.