Protect your smile from periodontal disease

Dr. Gary R. DiStefano, DDS &
Schaefer Dental Group


HOWELL, MI 48843
OFFICE (517) 546-8983
FAX (517) 546-1422

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Mistakes You Make Brushing Your Teeth

You may have a lot of experience doing it, but are you sure you’re not making mistakes while brushing your teeth? Interested in hearing from a dentist in Howell, Michigan about what you might be doing wrong when brushing your teeth? Want a few expert tips on brushing your teeth so you can be confident you’re doing it right?

Many of us do it twice a day every day, but according to dentists, it’s likely we’re all doing at least one thing wrong when we’re brushing our teeth. Because oral health is closely connected to our overall health and wellness, it’s critical we address whatever mistakes we might be making with a toothbrush to keep our teeth as strong as possible.

To identify and correct mistakes you might be making while brushing your teeth, check out our list below: 

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  1. Sticking with the same brush: it’s common for people to keep their toothbrush for too long when we should change them every 3-4 months. As an easy reminder, you can change you toothbrush with the seasons, or watch out for the first signs of frayed and bent bristles.
  2. Not going the distance: you may think you’re brushing for quite a while, but according to dentists, on average we only do it about 45 seconds. Recommendations tell us to go for at least 2 minutes, so you probably need to step it up. You can use a timer, sing a song, or do a few sets of squats to help pass the time.
  3. Under pressure: pressing harder doesn’t necessarily remove more debris and bacteria, but it does do damage to your enamel and gums. Light pressure is the way to go; it cleans your teeth sufficiently and leaves your enamel and gums strong and healthy.
  4. Brushing too soon: if you brush right after eating something acidic like citrus, soda, and tomato, you could actually be doing more damage to your teeth. Wait about 30 minutes after eating before you brush your teeth, and in the meantime, drink water or chew sugar free gum to clean your pearly whites.
  5. Improper storage: leaving your toothbrush out in the bathroom may not be the most attractive thing, but keeping it in a closed container allows bacteria to grow. Instead, store toothbrushes upright to allow them to air dry. If you keep more than one brush in a container, make sure they’re separated and not touching.
  6. Using hard bristles: although bristles come in a variety, soft bristles are best for almost anyone. Hard bristles are pretty much only recommended for cleaning around the house and will damage gums and wear down enamel which could lead to tooth sensitivity.
  7. Bad technique: holding your brush horizontally doesn’t get you the best clean. It’s best to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to gum line to get at all the nooks of your mouth. Move the brush back and forth in short strokes, cleaning the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

At least one of these common mistakes probably strikes a chord with everyone. Because we brush our teeth so often, we can get into the habit of doing it without thinking, and therefore, not doing the best job. But if you try to keep our tips in mind, you can do a better job of brushing your teeth every day!

If you have questions about oral hygiene, brushing your teeth, or seeing a dentist in Howell, Michigan, give us a call today!

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Our senior dentist, Dr. Gary R. DiStefano, DDS, has been serving the dental needs of Howell Michigan residents in the Howell area for over 30 years. He is a highly trained and experienced cosmetic dentist as well an expert in the treatment of TMJ disorders. The Doctor and his staff are dedicated to providing you with the best dental care available. We pride ourselves on using the most advanced dental procedures and techniques, state-of-the-art dentistry, and an unmatched commitment to serving our patients!

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