You’re Probably Brushing Your Teeth Incorrectly. Here’s How.

August 8, 2018

Good oral hygiene is paramount to any orthodontic treatment plan. Without taking proper care of your teeth and gums, you’re only setting yourself up for a lifetime of oral health problem — and what’s the point of having straight teeth if they’re decaying? It’s common sense that one of the most basic acts of good oral hygiene is brushing your teeth. However, it turns out that a majority of Americans have been going about it all wrong! Luckily, your team of Salt Lake City braces providers at Utah Orthodontic Care have put together this handy guide of what you’re probably doing wrong — and how to fix it!

You’re Brushing Too Hard

While some pressure should be applied during brushing to ensure proper removal of plaque and bacteria, too much force can eventually do more harm than good. Brushing too hard can lead to gum erosion, which will then lead to sensitive teeth or tooth damage. Use just enough pressure to remove sticky plaque, but not enough to bend the bristles of your toothbrush.

You’re Not Brushing Long Enough

According to the American Dental Association, the recommended length of time to brush is two minutes. To ensure you’re brushing for the right amount of time, consider setting a timer, or use an electric toothbrush with a timer built in.

Your Toothbrush Bristles are Too Hard

It’s a common misconception that the harder the bristles, the better the plaque-removing power. However, like brushing too hard, this will only lead to more harm than good. The ADA recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles instead.

You’re Not Brushing at the Right Angle

Unless you’re using a circular electric toothbrush, chances are you’re not brushing at the proper angle. Many people default to using a horizontal back and forth method, but this doesn’t clean along the gum line as effectively. To get the most out of your brushing, hold the head of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush in a circular motion. Don’t forget to gently brush the gum line along the inside and outside of your teeth as well!

Your Toothbrush is Too Old

One of the biggest mistakes people make is using the same toothbrush for too long. After so many uses, bristles become worn and ineffective. The ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If you have trouble keeping track, visual cues might be more helpful. Frayed and broken bristles are a sure sign that it’s time to replace your brush.

You’re Not Brushing Often Enough

According to the ADA, the “2×2” rule should be followed — brushing for 2 minutes, 2 times per day. Brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease — which recent studies have shown may be linked to heart disease.

Make an Appointment with Your Greater Salt Lake Area Orthodontic Provider

Utah Orthodontic Care is proud to be your trusted Salt Lake City braces provider. We provide patients of all ages with comfortable, effective orthodontic treatment, and will happily help you answer any oral hygiene questions you may have in the process. If you’re ready to begin your journey to a radiant new smile, contact us to schedule a free consultation at one of our many convenient locations throughout the Greater Salt Lake area. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!