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Are You Properly Brushing Your Teeth?

February 22, 2024
Are You Properly Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is your first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. It is absolutely crucial that you brush your teeth at least once a day, and preferably twice a day, to maintain your oral health. Preventive dental appointments at least twice a year are also important, but without daily brushing your oral health suffers. 

Are you properly brushing your teeth? Not only do you need to brush your teeth regularly, but you also need to brush effectively. Here are some common teeth brushing mistakes and how to correct them. 

Mistake #1: Not Brushing Long Enough 

A common mistake that many people make when brushing their teeth is that they do so in a hurry. Brushing for just a few seconds is not enough to effectively remove food residue and plaque from your teeth. It is best to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, spending at least 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left).

Mistake #2: Brushing Too Hard 

Did you know that you can brush your teeth too hard or too vigorously? Too much pressure or extremely fast movement of the toothbrush can wear down the enamel of your teeth, which increases your risk of decay. It can also irritate your gums, which increases your risk of developing gum disease. Brush your teeth with gentle to moderate pressure or purchase an electric toothbrush for better results. 

Mistake #3: Missing Spots 

It is easy to miss brushing certain areas of your mouth, especially those that are hard to reach. These are the areas where plaque tends to gather and cause cavities. When brushing, focus on reaching all sides of each tooth, especially the chewing surface of the molars. 

Mistake #4: Ignoring the Gumline 

One commonly missed area when brushing is the gumline. Plaque commonly gathers on the teeth at the edge of the gums, so it is important to pay attention to brushing right along the gumline. This can prevent cavities as well as gum disease. 

Mistake #5: Eating After Brushing 

It is best not to eat right after brushing your teeth. Ideally you should wait a few hours before eating to keep the teeth clean as long as possible. Brush your teeth before going to bed and avoid eating until the next morning, then brush your teeth as soon as you wake up and again after eating breakfast. 

Mistake #6: Using the Wrong Toothbrush 

Using the wrong type of toothbrush can also prevent you from brushing effectively. Use a soft bristled toothbrush, as medium or hard bristles can wear away your tooth enamel. You should also replace your toothbrush at least every 6 months because the bristles become damaged and bent, causing the brush to be less effective. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Brushing 

Should I brush my teeth every time I eat?

Believe it or not, you can actually brush your teeth too much. When you brush too frequently, you run the risk of irritating your gum tissue and damaging your enamel. If you prefer to brush your teeth after eating, make sure you brush no more than 3-4 times a day. 

Is it safe to use whitening toothpaste all the time? 

Whitening toothpaste contains very minimal amounts of whitening agent, typically hydrogen peroxide. Using it regularly will not damage teeth in most cases. However, if you notice any changes in your teeth, such as increased sensitivity, talk to us before continuing use. 

Learn More About Teeth Brushing From Metropolitan Dental Care

If you’re not sure if you’re brushing your teeth properly, Metropolitan Dental Care can recommend tips and tools to help you get better results. After an oral evaluation we can let you know what areas you need to focus on more when brushing and how to ensure you’re getting an even clean across all of your teeth. Schedule a preventive dental care visit today. 

Call 212-867-4223 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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275 Madison Ave, Suite 2118
New York, NY 10016