young woman brushing her teeth too aggressively

Knowing how to brush your teeth properly is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth and gums. That means also knowing what mistakes you might be making. Many people make these common mistakes that cause gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and discoloration.

Here are four common brushing mistakes you might be making and how to correct them.

Common Brushing Mistakes

When it comes to at-home preventative oral health care, there are a few common mistakes that we all tend to make.

Brushing With Too Much Force

One of the most common mistakes adults make when brushing their teeth is that they brush too hard, thinking that the more force they use, the more plaque will be removed and the cleaner their teeth will be. But brushing with a heavy hand can do more harm than good because brushing aggressively can lead to sensitive teeth and gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gums are pushed back by aggressive brushing, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed and the patient with extreme sensitivity.

Not Flossing Every Day 

Flossing your teeth every day is vital to maintaining your oral health. Poor flossing techniques are, in many ways, just as bad for your teeth as not flossing at all. To effectively clean between the teeth, start with a foot of floss, wrap the ends around your fingers, and then gently work the floss between teeth, focusing on wrapping the floss around a tooth and moving the floss up and down – not in a sawing motion.

Using The Wrong Toothbrush

The dental hygiene aisle of your local drugstore is filled with different types and brands of toothbrushes, making it extremely difficult and overwhelming for a person to know which toothbrush is the right toothbrush for them. So what should you be looking for in a toothbrush? Most importantly, always grab a soft-bristled toothbrush, whether you prefer a manual brush or an electric toothbrush, and replace the brush or brush head every three months.

Brushing Too Quickly

Taking the time to brush your teeth thoroughly will help remove plaque that is constantly building up on your teeth. When not appropriately removed, plaque can lead to tooth decay and cavities. A big part of ensuring proper brushing is to brush your teeth for a sufficient amount of time simply so you can reach all of the surfaces of your teeth.

Check Your Brushing Technique

Been a while since you’ve had a refresher course on how to brush your teeth properly? Here’s one technique to try for a thorough brush:

  1. Start by placing your soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
  2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes
  3. Brush downward when brushing near the gums to prevent the sensitive gum tissue from being pushed up into recession
  4. Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth
  5. Don’t forget to floss!

Don’t Skip The Dentist

Hate sitting in the dentist’s chair awaiting cleaning and exam? Turns out the best way to get over your fear of going to the dentist is – surprise – going to the dentist! Scheduling dental checkups every six months makes you all the less likely to run into problems every time you go to the dentist because your dentist can catch issues while they are still small and inexpensive – and who doesn’t like that!

Can’t remember the last time you had your teeth cleaned? Get in touch with us at Hoffman Dental Care today and schedule an appointment to see how your at-home oral hygiene routine measures up!