A Dentist Taking New Patients Outlines the Brushing Mistakes You Could Be Making
A dentist taking new patients will ask a flurry of questions before beginning any treatment plan. One of the first questions, of course, is whether the patient brushes and flosses regularly. While most patients reply with a resounding yes, chances are, many of them are making some very basic mistakes; and you may be, too. To help you brush more effectively, and ward off cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health concerns, our dentists have compiled a list of the most common tooth brushing mistakes you might make, and how to correct them:
Using the Wrong Brush
Many dentists recommend using a brush with soft bristles, rather than a hard or medium ones. This is because soft bristles can more easily slip under your gums to remove plaque, while a harder brush risks causing your gums to recede.
Using the Wrong Technique
Just rubbing your brush straight across your teeth isn’t going to get the job done. A dentist taking new patients will teach them to position their toothbrush so that their bristles meet their gums at a 30 to 45 degree angle. You should then rotate your wrist in a circular motion to remove plaque from the entire surface of your mouth. When brushing behind your front teeth, rotate your brush vertically, and give special attention to the back of your mouth, since large amounts of plaque and bacteria like to hide there.
Not Replacing Your Brush
If you realized how much bacteria your toothbrush contained, you would certainly replace it more often. Not to mention, worn-down bristles aren’t as effective at keeping your teeth clean. Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush once every 3 or 4 months, or immediately after you’ve been sick.
Focusing Exclusively on Your Teeth
Cleaning your teeth and nothing more is like cleaning only the seats in your car and neglecting the floor. Your tongue can trap harmful bacteria that can seriously affect your oral health, not to mention cause bad breath, so dentists taking new patients always recommend scraping your tongue at least once a day.
If you brush after dinner, and proceed to drink your bedtime tea, you’re significantly raising your risk for cavities. Same goes if you’re not brushing for the first time until halfway through your day, since bacteria multiplies even faster than usual while you’re sleeping. Dentists know you should brush at least twice per day, for a minimum of two minutes, and you should refrain from eating or drinking anything after having brushed before bed.
If you need further instruction, or you just want to be absolutely sure that you’re brushing and flossing properly, any dentist taking new patients would be happy to assist you! Book an appointment today!