You brush your teeth twice a day, and even floss. But at your six month checkup, your dentist says your brushing habits may be creating problems that could impact your oral health. It’s time to review how you brush, the tools you use, and what you can change to improve the condition of your teeth and gums.
Toothbrush – Check to see that you are using a soft bristle toothbrush. Too firm a brush or excessive pressure can promote premature gum erosion as well as enamel loss. Your dentist may recommend an electric toothbrush as their fast action provides adequate cleaning with just the right amount of pressure. All you have to do is provide guidance making sure you reach the front, back, and top of all teeth. A fluoridated toothpaste is recommended.
Storing Your Toothbrush – While you may want to protect your toothbrush from germs, it is imperative that you allow your brush to air dry following each use. This means it should not be immediately placed in a closed container that keeps it moist promoting bacteria growth.
Are You Brushing Long Enough? – You are supposed to brush a minimum of two minutes twice daily. If you’re not timing yourself, you may be short changing the amount of time you should brush. (An electric toothbrush has a built-in timer to resolve this problem.)
How Often Do You Replace Your Toothbrush? – It is recommended that you replace it every three to four months (sooner if bristles appear worn). Worn bristles will not do an adequate job of cleaning your teeth.
Do You Brush Immediately After Meals? – If so, this could be damaging your enamel. Many of the foods and beverages we consume contain acids that soften dental enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes to brush – chew sugar-free gum instead.
Now that some bad habits have been identified, you should take the necessary steps to make changes. In addition to brushing with the correct tools and technique, make sure you are flossing at least once a day to remove food debris your toothbrush missed.
Additionally, visit our team at Towson Dental Care every six months for cleaning to remove plaque and a dental exam. Healthy teeth and gums will lead to a great smile and help promote good overall health as well.