We like to think of our ourselves as a judgment-free dental zone, but we do have a few words about distracted brushing. You know not to drive and text. You know to check both ways before crossing a street. Giving your smile the care it needs is not a time for multitasking. Excellent preventive care in Grand Prairie, TX, helps preserve the integrity of your smile. On a lighter note, we offer a few comments on the effect distracted brushing can have on your overall oral health.
So What is Distracted Brushing?
Good dental hygiene means brushing twice a day, for about 2 minutes at a time. In addition, flossing once a day is necessary to clean the sides of each tooth and between teeth. If you are not sure how to brush or floss correctly, our trusted staff can show you at any checkup and cleaning appointment. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a clean piece of dental floss each time. Distracted brushing means you rush through things, give it half your attention, or skip parts of the routine. Watch out for these hallmarks of distracted brushing:
Brushing Too Long: Two minutes is enough, although you don’t have to time it with a stopwatch. Youngsters may enjoy listening to a song. Some electric toothbrushes have timers. If you keep your phone handy, try setting the timer for two minutes. Brushing longer is hard on the gums, and can even be hard on tooth enamel if you use an abrasive toothpaste.
Brushing Too Quickly: It takes about two minutes for most people to adequately clean all areas of teeth, gums and tongue. Thoroughly cleaning each tooth reduces the chance that a cavity will begin to form, which would result in the need for a filling.
Scrubbing Hard: Use a soft brush and a comfortable touch. Newly formed plaque is soft and sticky and can be brushed away. Hardened plaque turns to tartar and must be removed at a checkup and cleaning appointment, so no amount of hard home scrubbing can remove it.
Forgetting to Brush: We get it. Summer is a busy time. However, neglecting to brush should not be an option. If you (or your child or parent) has not settled into a twice-a-day, every day habit, try sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, reminders set on the phone, notes in a daily planner or even fun flavored toothpastes. You might also try brushing with them morning and night, setting up a good habit by your example.
Brushing Deserves Your Full Attention
Keeping your teeth clean seems simple, and you’ve been doing it for years. Keep paying attention to your good home care habits, and we’ll be here for twice yearly checkups and questions in between. Set up an appointment in Grand Prairie, TX by contacting your dentist at Pecan Tree Dental to schedule a visit at (972) 262-5111.