Since you were a young toddler, you were told how important it was to brush your teeth twice a day. But, did you know that how you brush is also vital to your oral health? Let’s take a look at how your brushing habits affect your teeth and how to properly scrub each day.
Brushing Too Hard
While you certainly want to brush your teeth well twice a day, you don’t need to scrub too hard. Brushing your teeth vigorously can damage your teeth by hurting your enamel and injuring your gums. The purpose of brushing your teeth is to remove bacteria and plaque. Luckily, these substances are loose, making them easy to remove. According to a study at the University of Newcastle, brushing too hard and for longer than the recommended two minutes provides no added benefit to your teeth’s oral health. In the study, volunteers used an electric toothbrush that measured their brushing habits. They found that two minutes and light pressure was all that was needed to keep teeth healthy. The research also found that brushing for longer than two minutes and putting high amounts of pressure on the teeth did not remove any additional plaque or bacteria.
Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush
In addition to how hard you brush your teeth, you must also be aware of the stiffness of your toothbrush’s bristles. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush is just as dangerous on your teeth as brushing too hard. When you use a toothbrush with hard bristles you can damage your teeth’s enamel, which makes you more prone to cavities. Additionally, you can hurt your gums and you increase your risk of gum disease.
How to Properly Brush
When it comes to keeping your teeth pearly white and healthy, it is essential you maintain strong and correct brushing habits. Here are a few tips for properly brushing your teeth.
• Make sure your toothbrush fits inside your mouth well and is not too large or too small.
• Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle in your mouth and brush back and forth.
• Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day. If you are not brushing long enough each day, consider using a timer to motivate you.
• Brush all sides of your teeth including your tongue.
While you may think you are a tooth brushing pro, take a few minutes to evaluate your own brushing habits. You may be surprised at how a few minor adjustments can improve your overall oral health.