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Top 10 Brushing Mistakes

It is not uncommon to make mistakes when brushing. Think about these ten things next time you pick up your brush.

1) Not using the right toothbrush: Standing in the toothbrush aisle can be over whelming but keep in mind when picking a new toothbrush the size of your mouth. Electric or manual? It is all personal preference. What it comes down to is the operator. Ask your dental care provider what they feel is best for your.

2) Not picking the right bristle: Hard bristles can damage gums so be sure to pick a soft bristled toothbrush.

3) Not brushing often or long enough: Brushing at least twice a day for two minutes is recommended. Anything less than that you may not be removing all of the bacteria from your teeth which can lead to gum inflammation and other problems.

4) Brushing too hard: Excessive brushing can irritate or damage the gums, leading to other problems.

5) Not brushing correctly: "Long horizontal strokes along the gumline can lead to abrasions. Aim your bristles at the gumline at a 45-degree angle and do short strokes or vibrations. Softly brush up and down your teeth, not across your teeth. The strokes should be verticle, not horizontal. Be sure to brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, the chewing surfaces, and your tongue.

6) Starting in the same place each time: Change it up, that way by the end of your brushing each time you aren't  becoming lazy and missing the same area each time.

7) Skipping inner tooth surfaces: Most people forget to brush the inner surfaces of teeth- the surface that your tongue presses against.

8) Not following up with a rinse: Bacteria will stay on an un-rinsed toothbrush so next time you are actually putting old bacteria in your mouth.

9) Not letting your toothbrush dry: It becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and you are brushing your teeth to remove it, not add to it.

10) Not changing the toothbrush often enough: It is recommended to change your brush every 3 to 4 months or earlier if it looks worn.

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