Welcome to the final installment of our three-part article series on the 10 most common toothbrushing mistakes patients tend to make. In our previous two articles, we spoke to dentists in Silver Spring MD who cautioned us against the following common brushing errors:
- Choosing the wrong size toothbrush,
- Using hard-bristled toothbrushes,
- Not brushing for long enough (two minutes is the recommended time)
- Not brushing frequently enough (three times a day is optimal)
- Brushing too hard,
- Brushing too frequently,
- Using the wrong technique
- Starting at the same point every time,
- Neglecting the inner tooth surfaces.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the three final common toothbrushing errors!
Common Mistake # 8: Not Rinsing Your Mouth Afterwards
“You should rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every use or else you risk leaving bacteria and food debris on the bristles,” says a Silver Spring cosmetic dentist. “Then, the next time you use your toothbrush, you can put all that bacteria back in your mouth. This is not to mention that old, dried toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly and always replace your toothbrush after a bout of flu or any other viral infection.”
Common Mistake # 9: Not Giving Your Toothbrush a Chance to Dry
“You should absolutely never leave your toothbrush lying around in a puddle of moisture,” warn dentists in Silver Spring MD. “Your toothbrush should be left somewhere it is able to dry out in between uses. A moist toothbrush provides bacteria with an excellent environment in which to proliferate.”
“This is why those toothbrush caps are actually a bad idea, even though they are supposed to keep your brush hygienic. They don’t allow evaporation to take place, which keeps the bristles moist, thus encouraging bacterial activity. Once you’re done with your toothbrush, shake off any excess water and leave it in an aired cabinet, preferably in a glass standing up. This will give it the best possible chance of drying, while being sheltered from any biofilm that might settle on it during the course of the day.”
Common Mistake # 10: Holding Onto an Old Toothbrush.
“You should be changing your toothbrush every three to four months, or at least that’s what the American Dental Association recommends,” say Silver Spring cosmetic dentists. “Actually, the bristles of your toothbrush will provide you with a more adequate understanding of when it’s time to go shopping again! In order to be most effective in keeping your teeth, gums and tongue clean, the bristles of your toothbrush should be straight. Once they start bending and becoming frayed, you should get a new toothbrush.”
“If your toothbrushes tend to become frayed really quickly, you are probably brushing too hard and should try to ease up on the pressure. Your toothbrushes (and your teeth) will last longer,” say dentists in Silver Spring MD. “Some newer, nifty brands come with color indicators that will tell you when it’s time to get a new brush.”
Frequent and thorough brushing is integral to maintaining a high standard of oral health and hygiene. By avoiding the 10 common toothbrushing mistakes and taking the advice laid out in this three-part article series, you can get the very most out of the time you spend caring for your teeth. And healthy teeth make a beautiful smile!
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