For most of us, we have known how to brush our teeth for as long as we can remember, it is almost like second nature to us. But unfortunately, there are still moments when we are harming our teeth more than helping them. This is an issue that pediatric dentists often encounter during check-ups, below are the 5 issues that dentists encounter the most.
1. Patients Brush Too Hard
Many people often think that when they brush with more force, they are doing a better job of removing all the plaque and buildup on and around their teeth. But instead, when we brush too hard it can damage sensitive gums and wear away the protective enamel of your teeth. We suggest our patients to try to brush as lightly as possible using a soft bristled brush. To avoid the issue of over brushing, we recommend people to avoid using bristles that are labeled “hard”.
2. Improperly Storing Your Toothbrush
Contrary to popular belief, the bathroom is one of the worst places to store your toothbrush. The constant humid temperature creates a perfect breeding ground for tons of germs. If you can, try to avoid leaving your toothbrush in a location where it does not have an opportunity to dry or comes into contact with bacteria frequently (i.e. the toilet). Using a toothbrush cover, for example the Steripod, is a toothbrush cover that has a patch inside of the cover that releases antibacterial air into the toothbrush cover to kill any existing harmful bacteria. The best place to store your toothbrush is in a cabinet, once it has dried.
3. Sharing Toothbrushes
Even if you’re sharing with someone whom you are close to or frequently share food with, you should always avoid allowing other people from using your toothbrush. Bacteria can be easily transferred from mouth to mouth which can make you more susceptible to illness and even cavities. Ensuring everyone uses their own toothbrush can eradicate the possibility of spreading more germs.
4. Using an Old Toothbrush
Most people end up using their toothbrush for much longer than they are supposed to, simply because they do not see an issue with the toothbrush’ function. A general rule of thumb to go buy is that your toothbrush should be replaced at least every 3-4 months, especially if the bristles have become frayed. It is also wise to throw your old toothbrushes away after you have been sick.
5. Brushing Too Quickly
Many people brush for only a minute or less and simply call it quits immediately after. To get the most of your tooth brushing experience you should brush for at least two minutes, twice each day. An easy way to do this is by using the timer on your phone to truly be able to see how long two minutes is.