You’ve been brushing your teeth since you were a toddler. With decades of experience under your belt, you’re no doubt a real pro at it. Right?
Maybe not. You see, brushing your teeth isn’t as intuitive as you might think. In fact, most people are making at least a few mistakes when polishing their smiles. Here are the most common ones and some tips on improving your technique.
#1: You Aren’t Using the Right Brush
To most people, all the brushes in the dental care aisle look more or less the same. However, there are key differences to pay attention to. The most important feature your brush should have? Soft bristles. These are flexible enough to get between the teeth and gentle enough not to damage the gums. You also should look for a larger brush head.
#2: You Brush Too Hard
Instinct says that the best way to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth is to apply plenty of pressure and brush rigorously. Unfortunately, this will damage the gums and even wear down your teeth. Instead, use gentle motions and don’t go too fast. This will still remove everything you need to get rid of, but without the damage.
#3: You’re in a Hurry
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential, but many people find themselves rushing through it to get to work or to bed. You shouldn’t. For brushing to be effective, you need to spend at least two minutes on the activity, giving equal time to all your tooth surfaces.
#4: You Use the Wrong Motions
Most people brush their teeth using a back-and-forth motion. And it’s no wonder; most toothpaste commercials show exactly that. But doing this doesn’t properly remove debris. Instead, use circular up-and-down motions starting at the gumline and finishing at the bottom of the tooth.
#5: You Brush Right After a Meal
It’s logical to brush your teeth right eating since they are certainly going to have food particles on them. However, this can damage the enamel. Brushing too soon pushes acids into the enamel, eroding it. Instead, give yourself 15-30 minutes before your brush.
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