Common Teeth Brushing Mistakes You Frequently Do

Your teeth and gums not only help you eat and digest the food you eat slowly, but also keep the bone structure of your jaw. Their health is also an indicator of your physical health, being just as delicate as the other vital organs in your body. That is because they are made of four different types of tissues, of which only the center, the pulp, is soft. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that are all responsible for tooth health, providing nutrients to each. Of the hard tissues that make up the teeth, the enamel is the most delicate; the outermost part of the teeth, it lacks living cells, and any damage as a result of cavities (tooth decay) is irreversible.

This is where proper teeth care comes in. Aside from preventing cavities on your teeth, it removes gingivitis-causing plaque while also reducing the risk of periodontitis, or gum disease, which can result in many health issues, including potential risk of heart disease. Listed here are the common teeth brushing mistakes that you frequently do and should avoid, courtesy of the American Dental Association (ADA):

Brushing too hard

Adding unneeded pressure when brushing does not clean off plaque stuck on your teeth, but irreparably damages the enamel instead. One solution, the ADA recommends, is to hold your brush at a 45-degree angle between the tooth and gum line before moving it in short strokes back and forth across each tooth.

Not brushing long enough

Although it is common to last 45 seconds when brushing teeth, the best duration for you to get healthier and cleaner teeth is two minutes, especially when you are not on a rush.

Using brush for too long

Just like most essential items, toothbrushes experience wear and tear, and are also replaceable. For healthier and infection-free teeth, it is best to replace your toothbrush after 3 to 4 months especially if it already has worn down bristles that give you the signal to replace it.

Hard bristle brushes

Teeth and gum damage can result in sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, which is not a good way to start your mornings if you like to drink a cup of joe. To avoid those, it is best for you to buy toothbrushes with small and soft bristles, which clean off plaque while avoiding damage to the enamel.

Brush after a meal

Brushing your teeth immediately after a meal may be good, but waiting for 30 minutes after breakfast/lunch/dinner is a prudent choice.

Improper brush storage

When a toothbrush is kept in a closed container, bacteria will simply form all over it. That is why it is best to store your toothbrush in an open air space and in an upright position after use so it can dry completely. 

Kid Brushing Teeth A girl brushing her teeth after a meal. Andrew Tafelski / Flickr