It seems almost crazy that we could mess up something we have been doing at least twice a day for our entire lives. But making mistakes in your brushing routine is more common than you may think. Here are five mistakes you may be making when you put brush to tooth.
Using a dirty toothbrush.
Your toothbrush has a dirty job, and it’s on the clock all the time. You brush twice a day, seven days a week and that adds up. You should replace your toothbrush every three months or so, and definitely replace it if you’ve been sick. (Tip: Can’t remember the last time you changed yours? An old toothbrush will have frayed or broken bristles.)
Using the wrong toothbrush
If you’ve stood in the aisle at the grocery store trying to buy a toothbrush, you know that there are dozens of kinds to choose from. Though it may seem random at first glance, the different toothbrushes actually serve different purposes. Make sure you have a toothbrush that fits comfortably in your hand, a size that is appropriate for your mouth, and one with soft bristles. Medium or hard bristles are too stiff and may actually hurt your gums or remove enamel from your teeth. Not sure which is the right toothbrush? Just ask the dentist!
Brushing too little or too much
When it comes to brushing, stick with the tried and true twice a day (morning and night) for two full minutes. Be sure that you’re hitting all of your teeth, on the fronts and backs. If you want to polish off your routine with a mouthwash, more power to you!
Brushing at the wrong angle
Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and switch between an up and down motion and circles. Short strokes are best and hit your outer and inner teeth, your molars, and your tongue.
Brushing too soon after you eat
Just like swimming, wait at least thirty minutes to brush after you eat sour or sweet things. Those foods have high acid levels that can soften the enamel on your teeth. If you brush too soon, you risk rubbing the acids into your enamel and wearing it away. Ouch!