Brushing your teeth incorrectly can lead to a variety of dental problems. If you brush your teeth too hard or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you may damage your gums and cause them to recede, leaving the roots of your teeth exposed. This can lead to gum disease, which can cause pain, swelling, and bleeding gums. If you don’t brush your teeth often enough or thoroughly enough, you can leave behind food particles and bacteria that can cause tooth decay, cavities, and enamel erosion. In addition, if you don’t brush your teeth often enough or thoroughly enough, you can leave behind surface stains that can make your teeth look yellow or brown. To avoid these problems, it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. While there are several myths about going to the dentist, the truth is that you should also floss daily and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings to maintain good oral health.
How To Tell if You’re Brushing Your Teeth Wrong
Although it’s true that there are several ways to tell if you’re brushing your teeth incorrectly, here are just a few concerning signs that you should be aware of:
- Bleeding gums: If you notice blood on your toothbrush or in the sink after brushing your teeth, it could be a sign of gingivitis, an early form of gum disease. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums. Brushing too hard, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or not brushing for long enough can all contribute to gingivitis. To prevent gingivitis, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush for two minutes twice a day, making sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. You may also want to consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill bacteria.
- Bad breath: If you have persistent bad breath despite brushing your teeth regularly, it may be a sign that you are not brushing properly or missing certain areas. Bacteria that build up on the tongue and in the spaces between teeth can cause bad breath. To prevent bad breath, make sure to brush your tongue and floss daily to remove any food particles that may be trapped between your teeth. You may also want to consider using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your tongue.
- Tooth sensitivity: If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks, it could be a sign of enamel erosion caused by over-brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects them from damage. When the enamel wears away, it can expose the sensitive dentin underneath, which can cause sensitivity. To prevent enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently for two minutes twice a day. You may also want to use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
- Yellowing or darkening of teeth: If your teeth are becoming discolored despite regular brushing, it may be a sign that you are not brushing thoroughly enough or using the right toothpaste. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause teeth to appear yellow or brown. To prevent discoloration, brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to consider using a whitening toothpaste or visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning.
- Receding gums: If your gums are pulling away from your teeth, it could be a sign that you are brushing too hard and causing damage to your gum tissue. When gums recede, the tooth roots become exposed, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and other dental problems. To prevent gum recession, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently for two minutes twice a day. You should also avoid brushing back and forth in a sawing motion, which can irritate the gums. Instead, use gentle circular motions and angle the brush towards the gumline.
How To Correct Incorrect Teeth Brushing
If you’ve been brushing your teeth incorrectly, here are some steps that our Woodland Hills dentist recommends you can take to correct your technique:
- Use the right toothbrush: Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably in your mouth. A smaller toothbrush head can also help you reach all areas of your mouth.
- Brush for two minutes: Set a timer or use an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer to make sure you’re brushing for two minutes each time.
- Use the right technique: Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use gentle circular motions to brush each tooth. Be sure to brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Don’t forget your tongue: Bacteria can also build up on your tongue and cause bad breath, so be sure to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria.
- Floss daily: Flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Your dentist can check for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems, and provide professional cleanings to remove any plaque and tartar buildup.
The Personalee Dental team is here to provide you with the insight that you need to brush correctly and avoid any oral hygiene issues. If you have any questions or you’re ready to make an appointment, make sure to get in touch with us today!