If you're like most adults, you have been brushing your teeth for many years. You may have picked up some incorrect techniques and habits along the way; some of those habits can be bad for your teeth and gums. Keep reading to learn more about common brushing mistakes that you may be making.
Using a Stiff Toothbrush
Some people think that a stiff toothbrush cleans teeth better than a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, that is a myth. In fact, a stiff toothbrush can be very abrasive to your teeth and gums. It can cause your gums to become inflamed and painful, and if you brush too vigorously with a stiff toothbrush, you may even start eroding the enamel on your teeth. That can make cavities more likely. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush so that you can clean your teeth in a gentle manner.
Ignoring Your Tongue
While you may be brushing your teeth and gums on a regular basis, you might be neglecting your tongue. Remember, everything you eat and drink lands on your tongue, so your tongue is exposed to the same plaque-causing bacteria that your gums and teeth are. When your mouth is closed, your tongue touches your teeth and gums, and can transfer that bacteria to them.
That's why it's a smart idea to remember to brush your tongue as well as your gums and teeth. Find time to brush your tongue either before or after brushing everything else. That way, your tongue can be as clean as the rest of your mouth.
Insufficient Toothbrush Rinsing
After all the time you spend brushing your teeth, you might just run your toothbrush underneath a bit of water and leave it on the counter. However, you have to remember that you've just washed bacteria and food debris with that toothbrush. It's important that you spend a little time making sure that the toothbrush is cleansed completely. It need not be a process that takes as much time as brushing does, but cleaning your toothbrush completely ensures that you don't put a toothbrush full of germs into your mouth the next time you brush.
If you are making any of the brushing mistakes in this article, make sure that you stop doing them. Talk to a dentist like those at Alegre Dental and Braces about brushing your teeth, so that your dentist can critique your technique and give you more ideas about how you can protect your teeth, gums and mouth when you brush.