This three-part article series explains the 10 mistakes people commonly make when brushing their teeth or choosing the appropriate healthcare appliances.
Welcome back to our three-part article series on the 10 most common toothbrushing mistakes patients tend to make. In our previous article, the first installment of the series, we spoke to a cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring, who warned us about the following brushing errors:
1) Choosing the wrong size toothbrush,
2) Using hard-bristled toothbrushes,
3) Not brushing for long enough (two minutes is the recommended time)
4) Not brushing frequently enough (three times a day is optimal)
We’ve still got another seven to cover, so without further ado...
Common Mistake # 4: Brushing Too Hard or Too Frequently
Too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you! While frequent brushing is crucial in maintaining good oral health, brushing too frequently can be bad for your teeth,” says a dental implants specialist in Maryland. “By brushing too often - more than four times a day - you can actually cause recession of the gum line and the hastened erosion of your dental enamel. This can expose the tooth root and the softer, more vulnerable dentine underneath the enamel, which puts you at a greater risk of cavities and tooth decay. It’s much better to brush thoroughly for two minutes two to three times a day. If you are particularly finicky about oral hygiene, try use an anti-bacterial mouthwash instead of brushing more than three times a day.”
Common Mistake # 5: Using the Wrong Technique
“Brushing technique is crucial,” the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring. “You should align your toothbrush bristles at a 45 degree angle to your gum line and brush using short, soft strokes. Long, vigorous strokes can actually irritate the gums and lead to abrasions. Also, don’t use horizontal strokes; brush circularly or vertically. Last, but not least, make sure you brush both the inner, outer and top tooth surfaces as well as your tongue! The tongue is full of little hiding places for bacteria and is just as prone to accumulating plaque as your teeth and gums.”
Common Mistake # 6: Beginning at the Same Brushing Point Every Time
“People tend to begin brushing well and then end up getting lazy or losing patience. So, if you usually start at a particular point in your mouth, chances are it’ll get a thorough clean while the rest of your mouth gets neglected,” explain the experts of dental implants in Maryland. “We can actually see this differential cleaning in the health of patients’ teeth. Starting in a different location every time ensures that all quadrants of your mouth get an equal cleaning.”
Common Mistake # 7: Neglecting to Brush the Inner Surfaces of Your Teeth
“When brushing your teeth, it’s crucial that you spend as much time cleaning the outer surfaces as you do the inner surfaces. Just because the outer surfaces are the ones people see when you smile doesn’t mean that you should neglect the inner surfaces that press against the tongue,” says the cosmetic dentist in Silver Spring. “This area is the one that is most commonly neglected by patients and this neglect is evident to us in the amount of plaque that builds up there in between visits.”
Stay Tuned for Part 3
To read more about the common toothbrushing mistakes Silver Spring residents make, stay tuned for the final installment of this three-part article series.