6 Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth

mistakes when brushingYou know how important it is to brush your teeth. You have most likely heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease and many other health issues. If you brush your teeth regularly, good for you.  But chances are, you are probably making at least one of these 6 mistakes when brushing your teeth.

You aren’t brushing at the right time of day – Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night.  This is according to Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS. Snacking before bedtime raises your risk of cavities because food can stay lodged between your teeth. Brushing in the morning is just as important.  Bacteria multiples while you sleep, so you need to brush it away.  Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes.

You use the wrong toothbrush – You should use a soft bristle toothbrush because it can slip under your gum tissue to dislodge plaque. If you don’t remove all the plaque, you are at risk of gum disease. Using a medium or hard bristle brush causes excessive pressure and can cause your gums to recede.

You don’t rinse – Just spitting out your toothpaste after brushing doesn’t remove all the harmful stuff that you got loose while brushing. You should use an alcohol free mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide.

You don’t use the correct technique – Just brushing straight up and down won’t get the job done.  You should position the handle of the brush so the bristles are at a 45 degree angle when touching the gums. Then rotate your wrist in a circular motion to remove the plaque. Turn your brush vertically when you move behind your front teeth and pay special attention to the back of your mouth.

You don’t replace your toothbrush – The ADA recommends buying a new brush every three or four months.  This way the brush is more effective as the bristles aren’t run down.  If you have been sick, you should get a new brush right away.

You ignore the rest of your mouth – Don’t just brush your teeth.  You should brush your tongue as well.  It can trap harmful bacteria and cause trouble for your mouth.

6 Mistakes You Make Every Time You Brush Your Teeth|Prevention

Tooth Brushing

We all know how important it is to brush our teeth, but do we use the correct technique for tooth brushing? This educational video shows the correct way to brush.  Each tooth has five sides that need to be brushed and the video shows how to get those hard to reach areas.  Check out this YouTube video to be sure that you are using the correct technique for tooth brushing.

Floss or Brush First?

floss or brush firstYou may have often wondered if it is better to floss or brush first when keeping up with your oral hygiene habits. Alas, there are only a few studies on this and there is no evidence that one is better than the other to do first.

However, many dentists have different options on the matter. Some dentists feel that flossing first is best because if you get it out of the way before brushing, you won’t be tempted to skip it.  Other dentists recommend brushing first because your mouth will then be awash with fluoride as you are flossing.

So what’s your opinion?  Floss or brush first? Ask Well: Floss or Brush First? – NYTimes.com

Make Brushing Magical

make brushing magicalDentalCare.Com provides a fun way to make brushing magical.  This activity booklet from Disney, Crest, and OralB includes fun activities for kids that remind them the importance of brushing their teeth.

You will find mazes, crossword puzzles, matching and coloring activities.  If you have a child that doesn’t think brushing is fun (and what child does!), print out this fun activity booklet for them. Check it out here.

How To Brush A Toddler’s Teeth

If you have a toddler, you know that brushing their teeth is not always an easy task. In an article from Babycenter, they offer tips on how to brush a toddler’s teeth.

Toddlers love to copy everything their parents do, so one ideas is to buy matching toothbrushes and brush together. Another tactic is to let toddler brushingthe child stand on a stool to see himself in the mirror. Another is to let them pick the flavor of toothpaste.

No matter what route you take, don’t take brushing lightly.  It is important for your toddler to brush as their teeth are coming in and they are eating more solid foods. See the full article from Babycenter here:

How can I get my toddler to cooperate when I brush his teeth? | BabyCenter.