You might be the type person that is very conscientious when it comes to good oral health. Most people know brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing before bedtime are good practices, but you could actually be doing it wrong. You might be brushing too long, too hard, using the wrong toothbrush or brushing at the wrong time. Is there such a thing as brushing at the wrong time? There is, so read on.
Did you know you could brush too hard? Most people brush their teeth horizontally, along the gum line which actually damages the gums. It is better to brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, not harshly straight across the gums. Brushing too hard creates receding gums and damages tooth enamel. If you brush too hard the enamel softens and this erosion makes the enamel more susceptible to bacteria leading to cavities.
Another problem area is using the proper toothbrush. In this case, size matters. You should use a toothbrush that allows you access to all surfaces of your teeth. A toothbrush with a larger head is difficult to maneuver in the small back areas of your mouth. A toothbrush head that is one inch long and a half-inch wide is suitable for most adults. Also, for most adults, a soft bristled toothbrush is the best. The medium or hard bristle brush can lead to gum and tooth damage. It is best to have bristles with rounded tips. A toothbrush that has frayed bristles can cause gum damage also.
Can it be possible to brush your teeth too long? Yes! While it is obvious that brushing for too short of a time can be detrimental to your dental health, brushing for too long can also cause damage. If a person brushes too long, it could be damaging the gums and eroding tooth enamel. According to the American Dental Association, it is best to brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day.
Some people brush their teeth after every meal. That sounds good in theory, but if a person brushes immediately after eating it could be damaging the enamel. It is recommended to wait at least thirty minutes after eating to brush your teeth. This is especially true if you have had anything that is acidic, such as sodas, alcohol or foods high in acidity. This is also true if a person suffers from acid reflux. They may want to brush immediately to get rid of the taste, but it could in fact, be pushing the acid deeper into the tooth enamel. It is best to just rinse your mouth out with water and brush at least thirty minutes after eating or drinking anything.