It’s common knowledge that regularly brushing your teeth is an important part of a healthy smile. But did you know that your daily dental routine may be doing more harm than good? Unfortunately, there are plenty of common unconscious behaviors and regular habits that can hurt your oral health instead of improve it. Read on to find out from your Horsham dentist if your brushing habits are damaging your teeth and gums.
1.) Using an Expired Toothbrush
Toothbrushes don’t have an expiration date printed on them like a jug of milk or box of cereal, but dental experts encourage replacing it every three months. Toothbrush bristles become frayed over time, and they could get lodged in your teeth or gums. They also collect plenty of oral bacteria, which can be reintroduced into the mouth to cause infections.
2.) Over-Aggressive Brushing
Using more force while brushing does not clear away more plaque than gentle brushing. In fact, over-aggressive brushing scratches away at your enamel and irritates your gums. Not only does this increase your risk of cavities and gum disease, but it can also make your smile look dull or grayish.
3.) Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush
Similarly to over-aggressive brushing, using a toothbrush with hard bristles creates enough extra pressure to weaken your teeth and cause your gums to recede. Soft bristles are more flexible and less abrasive, as well as much more comfortable to use. If you have sensitive teeth or tender gums, a toothbrush with ultra-soft bristles may be your perfect toothbrush.
4.) Brushing Right After Eating
It may seem counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t brush your teeth right after a meal. Acid is produced in our mouths when we eat and brushing too soon afterwards only scrubs your enamel with these acids. Your saliva needs approximately 15-20 minutes to neutralize your mouth and make it safe to brush again.
5.) Forgetting to Clean Your Tongue
Your oral health is about more than just your pearly whites! Brushing your tongue removes all the trapped food particles and bacteria that contribute to bad breath and an unhealthy mouth. You don’t have to use a tooth scraping device if you don’t want to either. Massaging your tongue with your toothbrush does a fine job of loosening any debris.
If any of these bad habits sound familiar, it’s time to clean up your dental routine. With a little extra attention and practice, you can improve how you brush and boost your oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Henkel of Horsham Dental Elements has been serving the families of Horsham, PA and the surrounding communities since 1981. To make sure that his patients receive the excellent care they deserve, he’s completed over 2,500 hours of continuing education to stay current in the latest dental techniques and technologies. He knows that great oral hygiene starts at home, so he’d be happy to go over the best ways to get the most out of your dental care routine at your regular checkup. TO learn more, feel free to contact him via his website or at (215) 672-6666.