Brushing your teeth is one major way to prevent cavities and keep those pearly whites looking beautiful. But if you’re making one of these common toothbrushing mistakes, your chompers might not be getting all the care they need.
Flossing before brushing
Everyone should floss at least once per day. But if you’re flossing before you brush, you’re leaving stuff behind that could cause cavities. Even though flossing removes food and plaque that’s stuck between the teeth, it still might be hanging around in your mouth. Following two minutes of brushing with a good floss is the solution for a truly clean smile.
Brushing in straight lines
Brushing in straight lines is great for some parts of your teeth, but not all. For the outer surfaces of your teeth, you should be brushing in circles in order to get the best scrub possible. For the inner surfaces of your teeth, brush in up and down motions. Finally, for the tops of your big back teeth, straight lines are the way to go.
Not brushing long enough
You should brush at least two times per day, but after every meal is best. And each time you brush, you should do it for two minutes. Get a timer, and set it on your bathroom counter. It’ll help you make sure you’re sticking to the two-minute rule every time.
Using an old brush
Toothbrushes need to be replaced about every 3 months. If the bristles of a toothbrush are bent, then it’s past time for a new brush. Why does it matter? Bent bristles just can’t clean the teeth as well as straight bristles. It’s as simple as that.
Using the wrong toothpaste
First things first, make sure you’re using fluoride toothpaste. It strengthens the teeth and prevents cavities. Second, if you’re buying toothpaste for kiddos, get something fruity-flavoured. Kids usually don’t like minty flavours and might put up a fight if you ask them to brush with a toothpaste they think tastes yucky. Finally, if you have sensitive teeth, get a toothpaste with potassium nitrate. It’s proven to help with tooth sensitivity and can make it easier to eat hot or cold foods.
If you’re guilty of one or more of these toothbrushing mistakes, you’re not alone. The good news is that now you know how to brush like a pro, and that’s going to go a long way in helping you have a healthier, happier smile.
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