Mistakes You Might Be Making When You Brush

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Brushing your teeth may be a very dull, everyday routine, but this routine is vital for the health of your teeth and gums. While brushing alone is important, you want to ensure you know the right way to brush, so that you don't actually damage your teeth while brushing, and so that you're sure to clean your teeth and your entire mouth properly. Improper brushing can mean trips to the dentist that could otherwise be avoided, and can also mean unnecessary cavities, bad breath, and poor overall oral health. Note a few mistakes you'll want to avoid when you brush your teeth every day.

Right after eating

Food acids can soften tooth enamel, and it usually takes several minutes after you're done eating for that enamel to harden. If you brush your teeth while the tooth enamel is still soft, this can cause damage to the teeth themselves. It's good to wait some time after eating to brush the teeth, so that the enamel can harden and protect teeth from your brush. If you're worried about bad breath after eating, chew sugar-free gum or rinse with a non-alcoholic mouthwash, to freshen your breath.

Variety in brushing

If you brush your teeth in the exact same way every day, you may be missing areas of the mouth, teeth, and gums that are holding germs and bacteria, and which are developing gum disease and tooth decay. Mixing up your method of brushing your teeth can help avoid that. Start with a different side of the mouth, hold the brush up and down rather than horizontally, and use circular motions for brushing; these various movements can ensure that the brush gets all areas of your mouth and all surfaces of the teeth, for a thorough cleaning.

How long you brush

It's not good to brush your teeth for just a few quick seconds and be done with the job; you need to brush for several minutes to get all areas of the teeth, and ensure your doing a thorough job with scrubbing. On the other hand, you don't want to brush your teeth so long and so hard that they start to hurt, and especially until the gums start to bleed. This can leave open sores in the mouth that can lead to tooth infection, and can also mean wearing away that protective enamel on the teeth. Do a thorough job, but don't assume that you need to brush indefinitely to get your teeth clean.