You’re pretty proud of your oral hygiene routine. You brush twice a day, even on vacation, and floss between every tooth; you do everything you’ve been taught since you were a toddler. But then, during your next visit to your dentist in Orange Park, they find that despite your best efforts, there’s plaque everywhere! How could this happen? Well, maybe you haven’t been brushing as well as you thought. Here are 6 bad habits to break in order to get the most out of your toothbrush.
1. Not Brushing Enough
The Academy of General Dentistry found that on average, people spend 45 to 70 seconds a day brushing their teeth, which is far less than what dentists recommend. Most would say that you should be brushing for a total of 4 minutes a day, which comes out to 2 minutes per brushing session. It may be helpful to set a timer to keep track; many electric toothbrushes have such a feature.
2. Keeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long
If the bristles on your toothbrush are frayed and broken, it won’t be able to clean your teeth as effectively. You should get a new one every 3 or 4 months; it may make it easier to remember if you change at the beginning of each season. If you have an electric toothbrush, swap out the removable head.
3. Brushing Too Hard
You don’t need to apply too much pressure to your teeth while brushing; plaque is actually soft and loose, so it can be removed gently. Don’t scrub your teeth the same way you’d scrub your kitchen’s floor. Similarly, be mindful of the type of bristles you’re using; a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear away enamel over time, so you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush instead.
4. Don’t Put Your Toothbrush in a Drawer
Putting a damp toothbrush in a small, dark, enclosed area is an open invitation for germs to grow. To avoid this, store it in a cup or a similar container that will let it stand upright, then let it air dry in the open.
5. Brushing Too Soon After Meals
It’s a good idea to brush after meals – but not immediately. If you eat something acidic, such as citrus fruits, it can soften your teeth and make them more susceptible to damage. For this reason, you may want to wait a minimum of 30 minutes after eating before picking up your toothbrush.
6. Forgetting the Gum Line
It’s important to clean the whole tooth, but many people miss the area where the teeth meet the gums. For an effective brushing, try tilting the brush at a 45-degree angle.
Don’t forget to speak with your dentist in Orange Park about your oral hygiene habits. They can identify any other weaknesses and make appropriate suggestions. Keeping your teeth clean and healthy is a full-time job; it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right!
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Patel has been immersed in the dental world ever since her childhood, having spent a lot of time at her own father’s practice. She has experience in many different areas of dentistry and considers it a point of pride to be able to help patients feel comfortable while providing quality care. To schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (904) 278-9011.