Man with Bad Teeth Brushing HabitsWhile most people know that brushing regularly is important for dental health, few people know that there is a right way and a wrong way to brush their teeth. And, if you are not brushing correctly, you are likely to harm your teeth, gums, and mouth.

Unfortunately, the wrong brushing technique can cause a lot of damage to your oral health. Fortunately, the correct brushing method is easy to learn and does not require any major changes in your normal brushing routine.

Talking to your dental or dental hygiene professional is the best way to learn the right method of brushing. Otherwise, you can go online and look for dental hygiene websites that carry videos of proper brushing techniques.

Common Mistakes While Brushing Your Teeth

While many people fail to follow the protocol of brushing twice a day for healthy teeth and gums, many more make the mistake of not concentrating on their brushing. If you do not use your brush on your gum line and hard-to-reach teeth, then you are creating a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque.

It is not enough to just brush your teeth regularly; you need to brush them long enough too. Most people do not brush their teeth for the minimum two minutes that is required to cover all corners of the mouth.

Another huge problem in brushing is the back-and-forth scrubbing motion that is favored by many. This actually wears away enamel and causes cracks.

When it comes to technique, brushing too hard is not the right answer. Brushing too hard can damage the enamel, decompose the dental structure, and cause gum recession.

People also use the wrong brushes with bristles that are too hard or toothpaste that has abrasive baking soda. These can damage your tooth surfaces.

You must remember to floss every time you brush. If you don’t, you’re likely leaving behind particles stuck between your teeth that can cause bacterial growth, caries, and gum disease.

Additionally, not rinsing your mouth after brushing can be counter-productive since any food particles or other debris that have been dislodged from your teeth need to be washed out of your mouth.

Dental Health Problems Caused by Poor Brushing Habits

Dental hygiene is very important. If you do not brush your teeth at least twice a day using the proper technique, you could end up with painful dental problems and embarrassing bad breath or halitosis.

Improper brushing can lead to damaged enamel and cracked teeth. It can also cause gum diseases such as gingivitis and bleeding or inflamed gums.

If you do not clean your teeth properly, it can lead to bacterial build-up, which, in turn, can lead to cavities. Untreated cavities can require expensive and painful procedures such as root canal surgery. In some cases, people can also lose a tooth or teeth to decay.

Improper brushing leads to discoloring of teeth as well as plaque and tartar build-up. Brushing too hard can cause gum lesions and abrasion of teeth.

Proper Teeth Brushing Guide

The American Dental Association (ADA) strongly recommends that everyone should brush their teeth at least twice a day besides rinsing their mouths after every meal, for good dental health.

Regular brushing after meals helps remove food particles and plaque from your mouth and teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that covers your teeth and has bacteria. If plaque is not tackled on a regular basis, it hardens to form tartar.

Technique is very important when it comes to brushing your teeth. Make sure you hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of your teeth. Then, brush your teeth in small circles and be gentle with the brush.

Concentrate on a few teeth at one time. Move from one side of your mouth to the other, top and bottom as well as front and back. Dentists recommend that you spend at least two minutes per brushing session or 30 seconds per quadrant of your mouth.

Use toothbrushes with gentle bristles and switch them out every three months. Frayed or damaged bristles can be breeding grounds for bacteria besides being less than effective in brushing.

Additionally, if you want to use toothpastes with baking soda to remove stains, remember that such products are abrasive and will harm the enamel of your teeth. You could alternate between a stain-removing toothpaste and a regular one that does not contain baking soda to minimize such damage.

Also, if you have eaten an acidic food or drink, wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing since acids weaken enamel.  According to the ADA, brushing too soon can remove enamel easily.

Also remember to floss. Even though flossing can be tedious, it is important to keep up the habit so as to avoid other dental issues.

And finally, get regular dental checkups. This can help you avoid major dental issues in the long run.