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Over time, it is easy to let bad habits creep into our daily oral hygiene routine, and our smiles suffer for it. Here are some bad habits to avoid as you care for your smile.

Keeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long: Toothbrushes are designed to be used for only a few months and then thrown away. If your toothbrush is older than three or four months, it’s time to get a new one. If your brush has frayed or worn out bristles or has been contaminated in any way, replace it immediately.

Brushing Too Quickly: The average time people spend brushing their teeth is about 45 seconds. The American Dental Association (ADA), however, recommends brushing for two full minutes each time you brush. If you are speeding through brushing time, try setting a timer.

Using Harsh Pressure: If you use harsh pressure to scrub the plaque and food away, you also run the risk of damaging your tooth enamel and gum tissues. Think “massage” rather than “scour.” This also applies to using medium to stiff bristled brushes: doing so will very likely damage your enamel and gum tissues. Only use a very soft-bristled toothbrush.

For more information, call Hartsdale Family Dental in Hartsdale, New York, at 914-205-3750. Drs. Greco, Lanzetta and Attallentl, along with our team, are happy to help you make your smile shine!