Almost everyone appreciates the importance of brushing your teeth, but maintaining proper dental health is not as simple as being consistent with your toothbrush. There are actually a number of ways that improper brushing can damage your smile, and many of them are completely unexpected! Here are the three most surprising ways you can harm your teeth without realizing it. Using these tips could give your smile a complete makeover.

1. Brushing Your Teeth the Wrong Way

You’re diligent about brushing your teeth twice a day, so there’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong! Not all brushing techniques are created equally, and if you’re using your toothbrush incorrectly you can actually harm your teeth in the long run. Side-to-side brushing can be very abrasive on the teeth and may damage your tooth enamel. Instead, make small, gentle circles with your toothbrush to avoid any unnecessary wear and tear. And don’t forget to pay special attention to the areas near your gum line—that’s where the harmful bacteria in your mouth like to reside.

2. Brushing Immediately After a Meal

It sounds counterintuitive, but brushing your teeth right after eating can actually damage your teeth. Even though you might think that getting rid of remaining food particles as soon as possible is good for your oral health, your tooth enamel is actually weaker immediately following a meal. Instead, you should wait at least a half hour before brushing, since this will give your saliva time to reinforce your enamel. It’s particularly important to be patient after eating highly acidic foods, as these weaken enamel more than most.

3. Choosing the Wrong Toothpaste

Natural, chemical-free toothpastes may be popular because of health and environmental reasons, but if you’re using a product that’s fluoride free, you’re doing a disservice to your teeth. One of the main reasons for brushing your teeth is the removal of plaque—that sticky substance that forms on your teeth and contains dangerous bacteria. However, even the most diligent of brushers will struggle to remove it all. Fluoride is essential because it can restore the important minerals that get destroyed by those harmful bacteria that your toothbrush misses.

If you believe your teeth are far beyond repair from fixing your brushing habits, call our cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale AZ today!

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