February 5, 2018
Many of us might not remember exactly what our parents told us when learning how to brush. Even though it’s something we should be doing every day, we can forget how to most effectively clean our mouth. This is especially true if you’ve ever skipped your routine. That’s why every time you visit your dentist in Owing Mills, they’re more than happy to remind you on the best ways to brush and what to avoid doing in the future.
Some of these mistakes are rarer than others, but your dentist is prepared to clear up any confusion or questions you might have.
Not Brushing for Long Enough
Did you know that many people don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth? In recent years, this problem is becoming less of an issue. On average, people brush for 1 minute and 52 seconds, which is still pretty close to the recommendation of two minutes dentists will often tell you!
If you find yourself rushing while brushing, set a timer for two minutes to better gauge how long you’ve brushed for. If you get bored, watch tv or a video on your smartphone to pass the time.
Brushing Immediately After Eating
This might catch you by surprise. As it turns out, it can be harmful to brush immediately after eating a meal, especially if that meal contains strong acids (think brushing after you just drank a glass of orange juice or a cup of coffee for example.)
Consuming these acids, which softens tooth enamel, and then brushing can actually wear your teeth down more than if you had waited! To combat this, rinse your mouth with water after a meal, then wait 30 minutes before brushing so your teeth aren’t vulnerable when you go to brush.
Brushing Too Hard
Unfortunately, applying more pressure while brushing does not make the fluoride in toothpaste work more effectively. In fact, dentists recommend that you tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle to reduce the friction on the delicate area where the gums and teeth meet. Applying too much pressure can actually irritate your gums and cause gum recession.
Brushing for Too Long
The same principle applies for brushing too long. Brushing longer than 3 minutes only causes your tooth enamel to wear down more quickly. If you’re brushing while watching tv, make sure you don’t brush for the entire episode! In fact, you’d be better off brushing during the commercial break.
Using an Old Brush
Your dentist in Owing Mills always gives you a spare toothbrush when you visit her. That’s because she wants to remind you to replace your toothbrush every three months. A worn and frayed toothbrush is nowhere as effective as a new one, so keep track of how often you change them out. This also goes for the disposable heads on electric toothbrushes. Sometimes these have bristles that fade in color to indicate when it’s time to swap.
Want more tips on proper oral care? Schedule a visit with your dentist in Owing Mills. You just might learn something new!
About the Author
Dr. Monica M. Mattson earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Case Western University School of Dental Medicine. She’s currently a member of the ADA, the Maryland State Dental Association, and the Triple Crown Study Club, which helps her stay up to date on the latest dental techniques. To learn more tips on proper oral care and about her practice, contact her at (443) 394-2273 or visit her website.
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