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Why You’re Probably Brushing Your Teeth Wrong
May 6, 2018

woman squeezing toothpaste onto the toothbrush

By this point in your life as an adult, you’re well aware that the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. While brushing your teeth is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can do to take care of your oral health, most adults are making several mistakes when it comes to their at-home dental care routine.

How does your oral hygiene routine measure up?

Common Brushing Mistakes We’ve All Made

When it comes to at-home preventative oral health care, there are a few common mistakes that we all tend to make.

Brushing With Too Much Force

One of the most common mistakes adults make when brushing their teeth is that they brush too hard, thinking that the more force they use, the more plaque will be removed and the cleaner their teeth will be. But brushing with a heavy hand can do more harm than good because brushing aggressively can lead to sensitive teeth and gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gums are pushed back by aggressive brushing, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed and the patient with extreme sensitivity.

Not Flossing

Flossing your teeth every day is vital to maintaining your oral health. Poor flossing techniques are in many ways, just as bad for your teeth as not flossing at all. To effectively clean between the teeth, start with a foot of floss, wrap the ends around your fingers, and then gently work the floss between teeth, focusing on wrapping the floss around a tooth and moving the floss up and down – not in a sawing motion.

Using The Wrong Toothbrush

The dental hygiene aisle of your local drugstore is filled with different types and brands of toothbrushes, making it extremely difficult and overwhelming for a person to know which toothbrush is the right toothbrush for them. So what should you be looking for in a toothbrush? Most importantly, always grab for a soft-bristled toothbrush whether you prefer a manual brush or an electric toothbrush, and replace the brush or brush head every three months.

Brushing Too Quickly

Taking the time to brushing your teeth thoroughly will help to remove plaque that is constantly building up on your teeth. When not removed properly, plaque can lead to tooth decay and cavities. A big part in ensuring proper brushing, is to simply brush your teeth for a sufficient amount of time so you are able to reach all of the surfaces of your teeth.

Proper Brushing Technique

Been a while since you’ve had a refresher course on how to properly brush your teeth? Here’s one technique to try for a thorough brush:

  1. Start by placing your soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes
  3. Brush downward when brushing near the gums to prevent the sensitive gum tissue from being pushed up into recession
  4. Brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of each tooth
  5. Don’t forget to floss!

Don’t Skip The Dentist

Hate sitting in the dentist’s chair awaiting a cleaning and exam? Turns out the best way to get over your fear of going to the dentist is – surprise – going to the dentist! Scheduling dental checkups every six months makes you all the less likely to run into problems every time you go to the dentist, because your dentist is able to catch issues while they are still small and inexpensive – and who doesn’t like that!

Can’t remember the last time you had your teeth cleaned? Get in touch with us at Hinsdale Dentistry today and schedule an appointment to see how your at-home oral hygiene routine measures up!


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