You probably brush your teeth so that you can take good care of them and keep them clean. Of course, regular brushing is very important for overall dental and oral health. However, this does not mean that you can’t damage your teeth when you are brushing them. These are a few bad habits that you might have when you brush your teeth. By making a few changes, you can help ensure that you are brushing your teeth the right way.

Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Often Enough

If you have had the same toothbrush for longer than you can remember, it is definitely time to toss it and replace it. Changing your toothbrush every three or four months is key; one good way to remember that it’s time to replace it is by replacing it with the changing seasons. You may also need to replace your toothbrush more frequently if it’s showing signs of wear – such as if the bristles are bent – or if you have recently been sick.

Not Storing Your Toothbrush Properly

It is also important to make sure that you store your toothbrush properly when it’s not in use. These are a few tips to remember for best results when storing your toothbrush:

  • Avoid closed toothbrush holders. Even though one of these toothbrush holders might work well for a night or two when you are traveling, in general, they can cause bacteria to grow. Instead, make sure that your toothbrush is able to air out when it’s not in use such as by storing it on the counter or in an upright, open toothbrush holder.
  • If you store your toothbrush with other toothbrushes, make sure that they are separated and that the bristles are not touching to avoid spreading bacteria.
  • Clean your toothbrush regularly to prevent odors and bacteria. You may want to clean it with a diluted bleach solution and water. Then, allow it to air dry completely before using it again.

Brushing Too Hard

There are two ways that you can brush your teeth too hard: using a too-stiff toothbrush or bearing down too hard with your toothbrush while you are brushing. It is important to avoid both if you want to avoid damaging the enamel on your teeth.

Using the Wrong Toothbrush

The toothbrush that you use is important. These are a few tips to help you choose the best possible toothbrush for you:

  • Make sure it’s the right size to fit comfortably in your hand and to maneuver easily around your mouth. If you have a smaller mouth, you may want to try a small or children’s toothbrush.
  • Make sure that the bristles aren’t too hard. Instead, go with soft or medium bristles.
  • If you choose an electric toothbrush, consider choosing one with replaceable heads. Then, you can swap out the heads every few months as needed.

Rushing Through It

When you are in a hurry, it can be easy to try to rush through brushing your teeth. However, if you’re only spending 30 seconds or so on brushing your teeth, then you aren’t really giving yourself enough time to get rid of bacteria, food particles and more. Instead, you should focus on spending a good three or four minutes on brushing your teeth at least twice per day. Consider playing your favorite song while you’re brushing your teeth; this can help you focus on brushing your teeth for the right amount of time and can help cut down on some of the boredom in the meantime.

Brushing After You Eat

You might have always thought that it was a good idea for you to brush your teeth as soon as you get finished eating or drinking something. However, if you brush your teeth too quickly after eating or drinking, then the acids from your foods could actually damage your teeth. Instead, it is best for you to wait for approximately one hour after eating or drinking before you brush your teeth. If you would like to clean your mouth out in the meantime, consider just rinsing out your mouth with a little bit of water. This can help you get rid of any unpleasant taste in your mouth and can help prevent staining without causing damage.

Even though you have probably been brushing your teeth for a long time, there is a chance that you still make mistakes when doing it. If you avoid these common yet bad brushing habits when brushing your teeth, however, you can help ensure that you are taking the best possible care of your teeth without accidentally causing more harm than good.

Please contact our office at Salcetti & Associates if you ever have any questions about your dental hygiene habits.