Estimates show that 91% of American adults have cavities and dental issues that they could easily prevent with a toothbrush and a pea-size amount of toothpaste.
But most Americans do brush, so why do so many of them suffer from dental issues? The answer is simple: Brushing twice a day isn’t enough to ensure good oral health. The devil is in the details, and there are quite a few brushing habits that can either damage or protect your teeth.
As advocates of prevention, K. Cheyn Gunnerson, DMD, and our team at Gunnerson Dental want to share the five brushing habits that we recommend to protect your teeth.
1. Use a soft-bristle brush
Many men and women go for the brush with the hardest bristles in the store, thinking it will clean better than a soft brush. But pushing against your teeth with hard bristles can damage your enamel and lead to teeth sensitivities.
2. Delay brushing after you consume acidic foods or drinks
Brushing after meals is generally a good practice, but if you eat foods that soften your enamel and you brush right after eating, you may do more damage than good.
If you consume acidic foods and drinks such as fruits, coffee, or soda, wait at least 30 minutes before you brush.
3. Use warm water
Warm water, not hot water, is best for brushing your teeth, because hot water sits longer in the hot water tank and can collect harmful chemicals. But cold water isn’t a good idea either, as it can lead to tooth sensitivities.
4. Toss your old toothbrush
Bacteria and residue accumulate over time no matter how much you keep your toothbrush under the tap. A general rule of thumb is to replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three months.
5. Brush your tongue too
Do you suffer from chronic bad breath? A large percentage of the harmful bacteria that could be causing the odor is sitting on your tongue. The same bacteria can migrate from your tongue to your teeth and cause dental problems.
Get a professional cleaning to prevent cavities and tooth loss
Why wait to develop symptoms when you can catch dental issues early? At Gunnerson Dental, we can help you identify cavities and gum inflammation early and remove plaque buildup before it becomes problematic.
So if you want to make sure your teeth are in good shape, contact us to schedule an appointment for your consultation and professional cleaning.