We all know that the new year leads to new ideas, new promises, and new goals. We would like to give you a list of eight bad habits that you can break in 2021 that will do huge things for your dental health. Starting slow and making small changes can lead to big things over time. We want you to start the year off right and hopefully have the perfect smile by the end of 2021.
1. Keeping your toothbrush too long
Bristles that are broken, frayed, and even falling apart won’t get your teeth clean. It is important to replace your toothbrush regularly. The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush every three to four months. The new year is the perfect time to start with a new brush. The changing of the seasons is a reminder to replace your toothbrush, too. When you are looking for a new toothbrush, be sure to grab one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
2. Not brushing long enough
You live in a fast paced world, we get it! But when it comes to brushing your teeth, take the time to slow down. We encourage you to brush for two minutes at least twice a day. It is said the average person brushes for only 45 seconds. If you find yourself rushing through the process, take it back to the basics. Grab your phone or sand timer and brush until the time is up. Of course, you can always sing yourself a favorite little song to keep your mind busy while brushing, too.
3. Brushing too hard
It is common for people to brush too hard. While it seems to make sense that it would help in removing plaque and debris better, it actually causes damage to the gum line. This can also lead to other issues like infections. Ease up and be gentle! Instead of brushing hard, focus on proper technique and holding the brush at a 45 degree angle.
4. Brushing right after a meal
It is important to allow salvia to do its job and break down debris and bacteria that enters the mouth during a meal. Wait at least 60 minutes following a meal to brush your teeth, especially if you eat anything acidic, as brushing can cause damage to the enamel on your teeth. Instead of brushing immediately after a meal, drink a glass of water or chew on a piece of sugar-free gum to help clean your mouth or freshen your breath.
5. Hiding your toothbrush
Many people store their toothbrushes incorrectly, which can increase bacteria growth on the bristles. Do not cover your toothbrush, but instead allow it to air dry in an upright position.
6. When in doubt go soft
Hard bristle toothbrushes can create a lot of issues in your mouth. We recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush that allows you to have more control over your brushing technique.
7. Brushing the wrong way
As stated before, having the right technique is the most important aspect of brushing. Keep your brush at a 45 degree angle throughout the mouth. Gently brush in mini-circles while moving back and forth along the tooth and gum line. Be sure to focus on the outer and inner sides of your teeth and when it comes to your front teeth, tilt your brush to a vertical position and brush up and down along the backsides.
8. Not having the right fit
Not all toothbrushes are created equal. Be sure to find one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, as these are highly recommended by dentists. You also need to find one that isn’t too large or too small for your mouth. Choose one that feels comfortable. Manual toothbrushes are great for allowing you to have complete control, while electric toothbrushes are generally easier to hold and help with some of the cleaning process. (And because electronic toothbrushes sometimes have a smaller head, they can be easier if you have a sensitive gag reflex when brushing!) Whichever you choose, be sure it feels comfortable, continue to brush twice a day, and remember that it’s not all about the brush—instead a healthy mouth is up to you, the brusher.
If you have any questions or feel like you need to correct your brushing technique, please contact us today for a consultation. We have toothbrush options available in the office that we can provide and give you advice for proper brushing and care. Don’t forget to start the year off right with a hygiene cleaning and dental check. Call us today at 920.766.9521 or click here to schedule an appointment online.