Brushing your teeth is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It gets rid of harmful bacteria, food particles, and plaque that collect on your teeth and ruins your smile. However, not all toothbrushing habits are good. Some might actually be doing damage to your oral health in the long run. Here are a few habits you need to stop doing:
- Brushing your teeth right after your meal
If you have just finished your meal or enjoyed a beverage that was anything but water, you should wait at least a half hour before brushing your teeth. It’s especially important if you’ve had anything particularly acidic. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 60 minutes after your meal before brushing your teeth. If you are worried about your breath, consider chewing sugar-free gum made with xylitol. You can also floss right away to get rid of food particles!
- Not replacing your toothbrush every three to four months
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you have to think about it, it’s probably not been recent enough. You need to get a new toothbrush every three to four months. Otherwise, the bristles can get worn down and won’t effectively remove plaque and bacteria. Plus, your toothbrush accumulates germs over time, and you are exposing your mouth to more of them if you don’t get a new toothbrush.
- Not brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day
If you took out a timer, how long do you think you brush your teeth? Likely not long enough! In fact, studies have shown that people brush their teeth an average of 45 to 70 seconds. By brushing your teeth for two minutes, you are giving your teeth a thorough cleaning. If you have a hard time making it two minutes, put on a song you love while you brush your teeth or get an electric toothbrush with a timer built into it.
- Using the wrong technique
If you brush your teeth using back-and-forth motions across your tooth enamel, your technique is all wrong. You need to make gentle circular motions to completely clean your teeth. Also, use a 45-degree angle towards your gumline so your gums get cleaned as well. Plus, you also want to make sure you a brushing your tongue too! That accumulates germs as well and can lead to bad breath if you don’t regularly brush it.
- Using a hard bristle toothbrush
A hard bristle toothbrush may seem like a better way of getting rid of hardened plaque, but it can be damaging to your tooth enamel. Instead, use a soft bristle toothbrush. It’s gentler on your teeth and gums!