Brushing your teeth correctly is the front line of defence against tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. While brushing your teeth might seem like a simple task to master, it is easy for little mistakes to creep into your cleaning routine. When these mistakes are repeated, they compromise the quality of your brushing and put your oral health at risk. Below are 4 common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth.

Using Too Much Toothpaste

Toothpaste is good for your teeth, so is it actually possible to have too much of it? While it might be tempting to think that more toothpaste will lead to cleaner and healthier teeth, this isn't the case. A pea sized blob of toothpaste is all you need to properly clean your teeth—anything more than this will just be wasted. Also, using a large amount of toothpaste can cause excessive foaming in the mouth, which can lead to you spitting the toothpaste out and rinsing your mouth much sooner than you should.

Brushing for the Incorrect Amount of Time

The Australian government recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Brushing for any less than this amount of time will mean that you do not properly remove any buildup of plaque inside your mouth. In the same way some people think that using more toothpaste will lead to cleaner teeth, some people also believe that spending longer brushing will increase dental health. However, excessive brushing can actually have the opposite effect by beginning to remove the protective enamel from your teeth.

Brushing Too Hard

Just as brushing for too long can damage your teeth, brushing too hard can also damage your gums and erode the enamel on your teeth. When you brush your teeth you should angle the toothbrush at 45 degrees, so that it is pointing up towards your gum line, and move it gently in a circular motion across your teeth.

Not Replacing Your Toothbrush

While you might get attached to your favourite toothbrush, you should be aware that it won't last forever. Over time the bristles on your toothbrush with soften and lose their shape, meaning that it becomes less effective and will not reach those hard to reach places, such as the space between your teeth and gums. This can cause a build up of plaque which can lead to oral health problems. Dentist recommend that you change your toothbrush every 2 - 3 months.

To help maintain your oral health, as well as take the time to brush your teeth correctly, you should also ensure you book regular appointments with a local family dentist like Southport Dental, who will be able to check your teeth and treat any dental problems.