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

Keep A Check On Toothbrush Abrasion

toothbrush 2Too much of anything can have devastating results. This rule of thumb holds true for brushing your teeth as well. Overzealous brushing of teeth can damage the bristles of the toothbrush and result in a condition called toothbrush abrasion.

Those who have had a previous traumatic experience due to dental pain or dental treatments tend to brush their teeth vigorously thinking that this will keep dental problems at bay. This is the wrong idea as one needs to understand the simple concept of dental problems. Plaque is the source of almost every dental or gum problem. It is a soft film that covers the oral surfaces and is composed of oral bacteria, sugars and proteins. This soft layer takes about 12 hours to form. Hence, dentists recommend to brush twice daily. Plaque can be removed easily with optimum force application and excessive forces are absolutely unnecessary and harmful.

Effects of toothbrush abrasion

  1. First of all, hard or vigorous brushing causes hardening and uneven breaking of the bristles of your toothbrush. Hence, the life of a toothbrush is shortened. When this happens, your toothbrush should go to the trash can. Unfortunately, people fail to get rid of it and over time it causes further harm to the oral tissues.
  2. Toothbrush abrasion starts with a small ledge formation on the tooth surface at the edge of the gums. You can feel it with your fingernail. In some cases, the person experiences sensitivity when the ledge is touched. This ledge marks the area where the enamel layer has been worn out from aggressive tooth-brushing.
  3. Slowly the small ledge deepens and widens and assumes a V shape wedge.
  4. The gums start receding as they are being rubbed hard on a daily basis. This process leads to an increase in tooth sensitivity as the roots of the teeth get exposed.

The best way to deal with this problem is by changing the method of brushing your teeth.

  • Use a toothbrush with soft or ultra-soft bristles.
  • Use electric toothbrushes that have built in sensor that assesses the pressure applied while brushing. Excess pressure is indicated by a light or sound. Some modern electric toothbrushes do not work when excessive force is applied.
  • Use any normal toothpaste instead of whitening toothpastes as the latter are loaded with abrasive particles. A toothbrush dipped in fluoride mouthwashes are also an excellent alternative to the conventional brushing technique.
  • Modify the strokes you use for brushing your teeth. Move your toothbrush in an up and down motion. Strictly avoid horizontal left-right strokes.

These simple techniques can protect your teeth from toothbrush abrasion and help you maintain your teeth and gums in a healthy state.

How A Toothbrush Is Made

Every morning we wake up and every night before we go to bed, we brush our teeth.  But in all the many times of brushing, you have probably never thought about how a toothbrush is made. A show on Discovery Channel called “How It’s Made” shows how different things are made.  It is very interesting to see how a toothbrush is made.  All the steps that are taken and even how each little bristle is put into the brush head.  Check out this interesting video on how a toothbrush is made.

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.

Toothbrush Contamination In Communal Bathrooms

If you are living away from home at college or in a situation that requires using a communal bathroom, then this article is for you!  Have you thought about toothbrush contamination in that bathroom that you shartoothbrush contaminatione with others? A recent study confirms that there is transmission of fecal mater in communal bathrooms and that toothbrushes may serve as a tool for that transmission of potentially pathogenic organisms.

It may sound disgusting, but it isn’t too much concern if your toothbrush is contaminated with your own fecal matter, but rather the fecal matter of someone else.  This is because it introduces bacteria, viruses and parasites that are not part of your normal flora.

So what can be done to avoid this situation? Better hygiene practices are recommend for students who share bathrooms both in the storage of their toothbrush and also in their personal hygiene. Use a cover for your toothbrush and keep it away from toilets.  Also, be sure to ALWAYS wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom.  Be sure to replace your toothbrush regularly.

Toothbrush contamination in communal bathrooms – Medical News Today.