Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the best ways to maintain oral health and hygiene. Unfortunately, there’s a wrong way to do it though. This week, the Walden Dentistry team dives into the importance of proper brushing technique.
4 Ways Your Brushing Might Be Doing More Harm than Good
1) You’re brushing your teeth too hard.
People tend to think of brushing their teeth as scrubbing away the plaque and polishing their teeth until they’re clean. As a result, many people tend to brush their teeth too hard. In reality, however, plaque sits on the surface of your teeth and can be gently wiped off your teeth. Over one-third of the 700 dentists in the Academy of General Dentistry say that brushing too hard is one of the top contributors to tooth sensitivity. That means that brushing too hard can actually wear down the enamel of your teeth and hurt your gums. Not quite what you had in mind, huh?
2) You’re not brushing long enough.
Pop quiz! How long do you think you’re supposed to brush your teeth? The answer may surprise you: two minutes! According to a 2010 Dental Health Plans Association survey, nearly 3 in 5 Americans believe their children have “excellent oral health.” Of these people, however, 45% say that their children brush for a minute or less! So which group are you in?
Remember, your brushing technique should include the following: two minutes of brushing altogether; smooth, circular motions as you brush; covering two to three teeth at a time. If you’re not doing these three things, now’s the time to get started!
3) You’re using a toothpaste that’s hard on your teeth.
Whitening toothpastes are extremely popular now, with all of the major toothpaste companies providing lines of whitening products. And these products generally work, helping you to increase the brightness of your smile over time. Unfortunately, the particles in these whitening toothpastes can sometimes damage the enamel of your teeth.
If you’re whitening and experiencing sensitivity, consider switching to a more enamel-friendly toothpaste. Crest, Colgate, and Sensodyne all have enamel-protecting toothpastes. Most of these work by coating your teeth in a thin protective film, making it difficult for food and bacteria to latch on to your teeth.
4) You’re using a toothbrush that’s hard on your teeth.
Again, we have a tendency to think we need to violently scrub away the plaque from our teeth; in reality, we’re scrubbing away at the protective surfaces of our teeth instead. Using a toothbrush with softer bristles will reduce the abrasion on our teeth. Lightly gripping the toothbrush and holding it at a 45-degree angle to your teeth will also reduce the pressure you exert on your teeth.
Feeling worried about your brushing technique after reading this post? Schedule a short meeting with our team to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your teeth. We’d love to help!
So what are some of the issues you have when you brush your teeth? Comment below to share your stories and tips for avoiding tooth sensitivity!
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