Like many things in life, brushing your teeth is something you probably learned at a young age and haven’t changed since. Most people have heard the rules of how to brush and for how long, but many are making big mistakes that could damage your gums, teeth, and put your mouth in pain. Our team of dental experts came together and found the top brushing mistakes that we see our patients doing.
Brushing too hard
The number one item on our list is brushing too hard. This is by far the most common brushing mistake our patients make. Most people think that when cleaning the harder you scrub the better you will clean. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with your teeth and can lead to overbrushing. This can cause your teeth to become sensitive and the gums to recede. This can also damage the outer layer of the teeth which becomes worn down leading to an increased risk of cavities.
Using too much toothpaste
This brushing mistake won’t help keep your teeth cleaner but will help keep money in your pocket. Top toothpaste companies have spent millions of dollars of advertising showcasing that you need a big glob of toothpaste when you brush your teeth. This isn’t farther from the truth. Experts have concluded that the average person needs about the size of a pea worth of toothpaste when brushing their teeth. Showcased in the image below this is how much toothpaste you actually need to put on. This could drastically reduce the amount of toothpaste you use and could save your household a few bucks throughout the year.
The pattern you brush
Once you find out that you’re brushing too hard you may be reevaluating how you brush in general. The second thing you may be doing wrong is the pattern in which you brush your teeth. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth in a circular motion hitting sections of your teeth. The below note is taken directly from the ADA website:
There are a number of techniques for brushing teeth; any of which may have advantages depending on a patient’s particular needs. In general, the American Dental Association suggests that people place the toothbrush against the gum line at a 45-degree angle to remove plaque from above and just below the gingival margin, and move the toothbrush gently back and forth in short strokes. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, they should tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Regardless of the technique used, brushing should touch upon all surfaces—inner, outer, and chewing. Also, when brushing, the ADA recommends that people use a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply gentle pressure, both of which may help reduce the risk of gingival injury.
Not brushing long enough
The fourth brushing mistake many makes is quitting before two minutes. Research has shown a significant increase in cleaning at the two-minute mark. Many people recommend listening to a 2-minute song to make sure you get a thorough cleaning. If you have an electric toothbrush many come with a 2-minute timer ready to help you brush better, if you don’t we recommend setting four 30 second alarms on your phone which will tell you when to switch to a different section of your mouth.
Using a brush with hard bristles
If you currently use a hard bristle toothbrush you may be serving your teeth an injustice. Hard bristle tooth brushing is becoming less and less recommended by dentists and our staff at Woodland Family Dental have stopped recommending them altogether. A soft-bristle toothbrush has less densely packed bristles, which allows the bristles to bend easily when you brush your teeth, making it gentler on your teeth and gums. The soft bristles also make it easier to clean your teeth because they can reach areas of your teeth hard bristles make them difficult to clean. We recommend looking for the ADA badge when picking out your next toothbrush as it’s a great indicator of good quality.
Not changing your toothbrush often enough
The last item on our list is one that many people don’t think about. The ADA recommends that people get new toothbrushes every three to four months or more often if the bristles are visibly matted or frayed. Once the toothbrush is matted or frayed it substantially loses its cleaning power. We recommend looking for the ADA badge when looking for a new toothbrush or investing in any sonic style toothbrush as it has been shown to substantially clean teeth better.
Who is Woodland Family Dental
Woodland Family Dental is one of Duluth, Minnesota’s top family dental offices. with over 50 five-star reviews on Google and Facebook, our team makes it our mission to provide the best dentistry for anyone that needs it. Our experienced team of dentists offers a wide array of dental services including general cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. Woodland Family Dental is here to help you with your dental needs. Not to mention our great location on Miller Trunk Highway right next to the mall in Duluth, Minnesota. Woodland Family Dental cares about helping our patients and accepts almost all insurances. Set up an appointment today and see why so many families love us. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date, get more tips, and learn about what our team is up to.
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