We’re always thrilled to see patients invested in taking care of the oral health. But there are a few brushing related mistakes that are made quite often - we’re talking every day! A few simple tweaks to your routine may make a big difference, so today we’re sharing these common errors to get to on the right track.
You use the wrong brush
First and foremost, we recommend ultrasonic toothbrushes. We can guess with pretty great accuracy if someone uses an electric toothbrush - the results are that obvious! An ultrasonic toothbrush is one that uses a very high frequency of vibration referred to as ultrasound to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth. Additionally, anything other than a soft brush has the potential to harm not only the teeth but the gums as well. Always use a “soft” bristled brush.
You don’t brush at the right time of day
The most important time to brush your teeth is before bed. Sleep is the longest period of the day you’re not eating and therefore the best time for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease to “feed”. Another small change can be made for people who brush their teeth before breakfast - suds up those chompers afterwards instead, for optimal oral health.
You ignore the rest of your mouth
Don’t forget to care for your tongue! The tongue can harbor food and bacteria in the tiny crevices between “papillae” (little bumps on the top of your tongue that help grip food while chewing) . Use your tooth brush lightly on your tongue and then follow with a tongue scraper to get rid of harmful bacteria.
Not brushing long enough
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Two minutes feel like a long time when you’re doing something less stimulating (to most … not us of course!). This is one reason we love electric toothbrushes - they keep you honest with their built in two minutes timers.
Not using proper technique
Many people are surprised to find, later in life, that they’ve been brushing the wrong way. But the truth is, proper brushing and flossing can be a little tricky! Don’t hesitate to get exact recommendation from your dentist or hygienist and ask any questions. We love these conversations! Most commonly, mistakes have to do with the angle of the brush, brush strokes and flossing motions.
You don’t replace your brush
You should replace your brush every 3-4 months, more frequently if the bristles become worn. Worn down bristles aren’t as effective. You should also change your brush out after you’ve been sick.
As always, the Soulsmile team is available to address any concerns you have about the proper way to brush. Don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office. Feel free to give us a call at 541.482.4995. Happy brushing!