Common Mistakes Adults Make When Caring for Their Teeth
Posted on 1/11/2021 by Brandon Cooley
|Your dental health is a significant component of your overall health. Most adults know that they should visit our office twice a year for checkups, brush their teeth twice a day, and floss once per day. But for many people, their knowledge of dental care stops there. Are you making any of these common mistakes when it comes to your oral hygiene?
Brushing Too Quickly
Did you know that the average person only brushes their teeth for 45 seconds each time? We understand that you might be tired or in a hurry when it is time to brush but rushing through your oral hygiene means that you are not cleaning your teeth thoroughly – which leaves you vulnerable to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. You should always brush for two minutes, twice a day, in order to effectively clean all the plaque, bacteria, and food debris from your teeth.
Brushing Too Hard
If you are tempted to brush your teeth with extra force in an attempt to get them extra clean, think again. Brushing your teeth too aggressively can damage your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. Instead, you should apply just enough pressure, so you feel the bristles against your gums and use short, gentle strokes. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and replace your brush every three months or whenever the bristles start to look frayed.
Brushing Right After Eating or Drinking
Even though brushing your teeth right after a meal will freshen your breath, it can potentially damage your teeth. When we consume sugars and acids (or foods that are converted into sugars and acids, such as starchy carbohydrates), our enamel is vulnerable. You may think it is a good idea to brush your teeth right away to “get rid of” the sugar and acid from what you ate or drank, but this can actually spread the sugar and acid across your teeth and weaken your enamel even more. Instead, rinse your mouth with water to neutralize acids, and wait at least 30 minutes before you brush.
Not Flossing Correctly, Or at All
Flossing is essential for preventing gum disease. In fact, daily flossing can even help reverse early gum disease. Many people do not floss on a daily basis or they skip flossing entirely because they find it uncomfortable, they forget, or they think it takes too long. You should definitely start flossing every day if you are not already doing so. However, it is also crucial that you use the correct technique. Use the right amount of floss and a clean section for each tooth, gently working the floss against the sides of each tooth. Do not saw the floss back and forth, as this can damage your gums.
If you are making any of these common mistakes when caring for your teeth, contact our office for help.