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8 bad brushing habits that harm your teeth

April 25, 2012

Filed under: Dental Care,Uncategorized — admin @ 9:48 am

Are you hurting instead of helping your teeth when you brush? pinpoints common brushing mistakes—and how to protect your pearly whites.

You don’t brush long enough

Most dentists recommend brushing for two or three minutes, but few people ever make it to that. To go the distance, bring an egg timer into the bathroom and set it for two or three minutes before you get started, or use an electric toothbrush (like Sonicare) with a two-minute timer.

You’re not watching what you’re doing

Make a point to look in the mirror while you brush your teeth and see where the brush is actually going. It’s easy to miss the area right at the gum line, which is the most important part. That’s where plaque, tartar and bacteria can build up.

Your technique needs a major makeover

Hold the brush so the bristles are at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the teeth and brush in small circles. Focus on a few teeth at once, then move on to the next set, continuing around from one side to the other, top and bottom, front and back. It’s okay to brush in straight lines on the chewing surfaces. After completing your circles, brush away from the gum line to clear off loosened plaque and bacteria.

You’re brushing too hard

The chances of enamel breakage are greater when you brush too hard. And if you have a tendency to clench or grind, the stakes get even higher. Those habits combined with hard sideways brushing can cause notches near the gum line called abfraction lesions. With continued pressure, they can deepen into the tooth’s inner dentin and cementum layers. What’s more, aggressive brushing can be traumatic for sensitive gums, causing irritation and recession.


You’re using the wrong brush

Be sure to buy soft or ultrasoft brushes to minimize damage.  Better yet, Sonicare toothbrushes, available at Aesthetic Dentistry by Design, have a patented dynamic cleaning action, which drives fluid deep between the teeth and along the gum line, for a difference you can see and feel.

You have the wrong toothpaste

Baking soda toothpastes are good at getting stains out because they are abrasive — but that also means they’re hard on enamel. Any toothpaste that’s approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) is good, unless you have cold sensitivity or more susceptible to decay, we can prescribe a prescription-strength toothpaste for you!

You’re failing at flossing

Mainly because many patients don’t do it. 

When flossing use a piece of floss approx 12-18 inches, wrapping the floss gently around your middle finger use your index finger and thumb to guide the floss in between your teeth and into your gums until the tissues stop you.

Gently curve your floss in a “C” shape and move the floss up and down several times to remove plaque & debris.

As you move the floss from one tooth to another use a fresh section each time. Floss at least once a day.

You don’t rinse after

Rinsing afterward is a key step to make sure that bacteria leave your mouth for good.

Aesthetic Dentistry by Design 719-599-0700

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