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With the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. You may resolve to eat healthier, exercise more, or read more books. A New Year’s Resolution to make and keep is to improve your brushing habits. Improving your oral hygiene can in turn improve your oral health. Below are seven bad brushing habits to break in 2017.

Not Brushing for Long Enough
Make sure that you brush your teeth for a full two minutes twice a day. Most people do not brush long enough; the average brushing time is 45 seconds. If you fall into this trap, set a timer or distract yourself by humming your favorite song.

Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
Be gentle when you brush your teeth. Many people think that brushing harder removes more leftover food and bacteria, but a gentle brushing is really all that is needed. It too much pressure is used, the enamel can become worn down and the gums may be damaged.

Brushing Right After Eating
Wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating or drinking, especially if you have had something acidic like lemons or soda. If you feel the need for a fresher mouth while waiting, drink water or drink sugarless gum.

Storing Your Toothbrush Incorrectly
Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Do not store your toothbrush in a stored container, as this gives germs more opportunity to grow. Also, keep toothbrushes from touching each other to avoid spreading germs.

Keeping a Toothbrush for Too Long
The average life of a toothbrush is three to four months. As part of your oral hygiene resolution, commit to changing your toothbrush with every season this year. Bristles that are broken or frayed will not keep your teeth clean. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Using a Toothbrush with Hard Bristles
Medium- or hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down the enamel of the teeth. This causes sensitivity when eating or drinking cold foods and beverages.

Using Improper Brushing technique
To brush properly, follow these steps: Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Move the brush back and forth in short strokes. Be sure to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inner surfaces of the front teeth, tilt your toothbrush vertically and use up-and-down strokes.

Please contact Monon Family Dental today to learn more about dental hygiene in Indianapolis, Indiana, and to schedule an appointment with our dentists, Dr. Cleveland, Dr. Allmand, and Dr. Carlson.