Your dental hygiene routine is very important; your dental health directly impacts your overall health. However, there may be a few habits you engage in when it comes to brushing that need to stop. Although your intentions may be good, be sure to avoid these five harmful brushing habits for a healthier smile:
- Brushing too quick
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush for two minutes, twice a day for optimal oral health. However, many people fall short of this time period. Set a timer for yourself if it helps you to get to the full two-minute mark before you spit and rinse.
- Brushing too hard
Harder is not always better when it comes to brushing your teeth. Food debris, acids, bacteria and even plaque are all easily removed with a gentle brushing stroke. Using too much force against your teeth will cause damage to your tooth enamel, which can be permanent and weaken your teeth. Choose a toothbrush that is soft-bristled and not abrasive.
- Brushing too soon
This may be surprising, but there are times when brushing can do more damage than good. If you have recently consumed an acidic food or beverage (such as orange juice or even coffee), you need to wait at least 30 minutes before picking up your toothbrush. Brushing too soon will only result in an abrasive scrubbing of acids against your tooth enamel. Instead rinse your mouth with water or chew a piece of sugar-free gum to keep your dentin layer protected until it is safe to brush.
- Brushing Not flossing
If you consider your dental hygiene routine complete after brushing, you are making a huge mistake. Always remember to floss too! You are missing up to 35% of your tooth’s surface when you neglect to floss.
- Brushing Your Teeth Only
If you frequently suffer from bad breath, it may be because you are only brushing your teeth. Be sure to include all surfaces of your tongue in your brushing habits, as this will eliminate a large amount of bacteria that is likely responsible for your bad breath.
Your at-home dental hygiene routine is not the only step you need to take for a healthy smile. Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for a professional, routine cleaning and exam. Your dentist may also be able to detect any bad brushing habits before it is too late.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,