28 years experience
5 Common Toothbrushing Mistakes
Brushing your teeth is one major way to prevent cavities and keep those pearly whites looking beautiful. But if you’re making one of these common toothbrushing mistakes, your teeth might not be getting all the care they need.
1. Flossing after brushing: Everyone should floss at least once per day. But if you’re flossing before you brush, you’re leaving stuff behind that could cause cavities. Even though flossing removes food and plaque that’s stuck between the teeth, it still might be hanging around in your mouth. Following two minutes of brushing with a good floss is the solution for a truly clean smile.
2. Brushing in straight lines: Brushing in straight lines is great for some parts of your teeth, but not all. For the outer surfaces of your teeth, you should be brushing in circles in order to get the best scrub possible. For the inner surfaces of your teeth, brush in up and down motions. Finally, for the tops of your big back teeth, straight lines are the way to go.
3. Not brushing long enough: You should brush at least two times per day, but after every meal is best. And each time you brush, you should do it for two to three minutes.
4. Using an old brush: Toothbrushes need to be replaced about every 3 months. If the bristles of a toothbrush are bent, then it’s past time for a new brush. Why does it matter? Bent bristles just can’t clean the teeth as well as straight bristles. It’s as simple as that.
5. Using the wrong toothpaste: First things first, make sure you’re using a fluoride toothpaste. It strengthens the teeth and prevents cavities. Second, if you’re buying toothpaste for kids, get something fruity-flavored. Kids usually don’t like minty flavors, and might put up a fight if you ask them to brush with a toothpaste they think tastes yucky. Finally, if you have sensitive teeth, get a toothpaste with potassium nitrate. It’s proven to help with tooth sensitivity, and can make it easier to eat hot or cold foods.
If you’re guilty of one or more of these toothbrushing mistakes, you’re not alone. The good news is that now you know how to brush like a pro, and that’s going to go a long way in helping you have a healthier, happier smil
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