Brushing your teeth is important at any age, including during one’s childhood. A child is very susceptible to developing dental caries (tooth decay) due to modern diets having too much sugar and inadequate oral hygiene. While brushing is important, brushing incorrectly does harm, too. Our children’s dentist offers preventive and restorative services through checkups, cleanings, and oral health education. Following are common bad brushing habits patients should avoid.
Brushing Too Hard
In many cases, the more vigorous one scrubs the cleaner something becomes, such as tough stains on dishes or floors. With teeth, however, vigorous brushing leads to damaging tooth enamel. Damaged tooth enamel compromises the health of teeth by exposing the softer, internal structures to cavity-causing bacteria. When brushing, it is best to use soft, circular and back-and-forth strokes. Brushing thoroughly but softly is the most effective way to clean teeth and gums.
Forgetting to Replace Your Toothbrush
Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush or electronic brush heads about every three months? Keeping a toothbrush too long is a bad habit. When bristles are frayed, they cannot effectively clean oral surfaces. Moreover, bacteria collect on the bristles of a toothbrush over time. An easy way to remember to change toothbrushes and brush heads is to buy a new brush at the beginning of every new season.
Brushing Immediately After a Meal
While brushing after we eat is a great idea, it is not wise to brush immediately after eating. This is because bacteria feed on food particles when we eat. As a by-product, bacteria will release acid that softens tooth enamel. It is best to wait about half an hour before brushing so that tooth enamel is not damaged while in a compromised state.
Brushing too Quickly
The American Dental Association recommends brushing for about two minutes each time. Rushing through your oral hygiene routine means that surfaces will not be cleaned effectively. We recommend keeping track of time when brushing so that you increase your chances of removing as much bacteria and debris as possible.
Call our family-friendly office today to schedule a checkup or cleaning with our children’s dentist.