This four-part article series takes a closer look at the 11 toothbrushing mistakes people frequently and unwittingly make when caring for their pearly whites.

Welcome back to our four-part article series on the top 11 toothbrushing mistakes. In our previous article post, Chicago implant dentists – professionals who deal with the consequences of poor oral hygiene and sloppy brushing habits – discussed the first two bad brushing habits: (1) using the wrong toothbrush and (2) thinking that an electric toothbrush will do all the work for you. In this article, the second installment of the series, we shall examine toothbrushing mistake # 3, 4 and 5.

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 3

Not Choosing the Right Bristles

Chicago Implant Dentist

Toothbrush bristles are about as varied as toothpaste brands. Every manufacturer boasts a superior angulation and arrangement of toothbrush bristles designed “to access those hard-to-reach places, leaving your teeth perfectly clean.” It’s hard to trust what the marketers have to say because they’re all saying the same thing. So what do Chicago implant dentists have to say? Is it better to have angled bristles or straight bristles?

“Bristle angulation doesn’t matter. What does matter is a brusher’s technique. You shouldn’t agonize over which toothbrush brand is the very best. Rather, focus on how you use it. You should also be aware of other factors, such as bristle hardness, when buying a toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends a soft to medium-bristled toothbrush because harder bristles can actually erode away dental enamel and irritate the gums.

And as for natural bristled toothbrushes, such as those made from boar hair or other animal hair.

“We simply can’t recommend these products,” say Chicago implant dentist. “Much research and development has gone in to the manufacturing of modern toothbrushes. They are designed specifically for oral care and hygiene maintenance. While there may not be much difference between the variety of manufactured toothbrush bristles, they certainly are a cut above bristles made from animal hair.”

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Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 4

Not Brushing Long Enough or Often Enough

Most people brush their teeth twice a day and while this is the recommended frequency, three times a day is optimal. The longer you wait between brushes, the longer oral bacteria are given a chance to multiply and proliferate. This increases your risk of developing cavities, gum inflammation and bad breath.

The amount of time you dedicate to a brushing session is also extremely important. Unfortunately, many patients only spend 30 seconds brushing their teeth. “The recommended time is two minutes,” say Chicago implant dentist. “You should brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, or even longer. The longer you spend, the more thorough you’ll be, which reduces your chance of developing cavities, tooth decay and gum disease and all the associated symptoms.”

Try this trick! The next time you brush your teeth, distract yourself with another task so that you get a full two or three minutes’ worth in. Try brushing your teeth in front of the TV or while listening to the radio. You could even flip through a magazine. Multi-tasking takes your mind off what you’re doing, so that you do it for longer without getting impatient. Just remember to dedicate at least 30 seconds per quadrant of the mouth!

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 5

Brushing too Hard and/or too Often

“The flipside to good oral hygiene is that you can actually go overboard,” warn Chicago implant dentists. “Excessive toothbrushing can actually force the gums to recede from the crowns of the teeth exposing the tooth roots underneath. It can also irritate the gums and lead to the hastened erosion of the dental enamel. Don’t become obsessive and don’t press down too hard when brushing.”

What Chicago dental healthcare professionals advise patients to do is to brush gently for two or three minutes, three times a day. If you want to freshen up in between brushes, try an ADA-approved anti-bacterial mouthwash.

Stay Tuned for Part 3

To find out more about the common toothbrushing mistakes we make and what the Chicago dental healthcare professionals have to say about them, stay tuned for the third installment of this four-part article series.