if you're like most people, you're probably brushing your teeth with the wrong toothbrush. According to statistics, only about 28% of Americans brush their teeth after each meal. The same statistics show that over 18% of Americans don't floss their teeth. If you think you should be included in those statistics, you might want to change your daily oral hygiene routine. The first step is to make sure you're brushing your teeth properly. Here are three mistakes you might be making when you brush your teeth.
Using the Wrong Motion
If you're brushing your teeth in a back and forth, or up and down motion, you might not be getting your teeth as clean as they should be. When brushing your teeth, you should use a circular motion, with the bristles angled at a 45-degree angle away from the gums. This angle will allow you to get the bristles under the gum line so they can remove food particles and plaque. You should also be starting at a different spot in your mouth each time you brush your teeth. This will ensure that all of your teeth receive equal time and attention.
Skimping on the Time
When it comes to your teeth, the more time you spend brushing them, the better. Instead of breezing through the process in a matter of seconds, take your time to make sure you get every tooth. If you have a hard time keeping track of how long you've been brushing your teeth, bring an egg-timer into the bathroom with you. When you're ready to brush your teeth, flip the timer over and don't stop till the sand has filtered through the timer. Most egg-timers take about 3 minutes to filter the sand from one side to the other. That's just enough time to get your teeth nice and clean.
Going Old School
If you're still using an old school manual toothbrush, you might want to switch to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes rotate the bristles in just the right way to make sure that every crack and crevice in your mouth gets cleaned. Not only that, but the vibration of the brushing head will gently massage your gums, which will stimulate blood flow. Proper blood flow is essential for healthy gums and teeth.
You want your teeth to last your entire life. Brushing your teeth the right way is a good way to make sure you reach that goal. To make sure your teeth stay as healthy as possible, make sure you see your dentist (like those at Family First Dentistry LLC) at least twice a year.