top of page

9 Toothbrushing Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

family brushing teeth

1. Choose the Right Tool

  • The size of your brush plays an important role to proper oral health care. It should feel good in your mouth and in your hand, so you’ll use it often.

  • Know your bristles, too. If they’re really stiff, they can hurt your gums. A soft brush is best

  • Electric or manual? It’s an individual choice. Electric toothbrushes can make it easier to do a better job, especially if you have arthritis or other trouble with your hands, arms, or shoulders

2. Give It Time

  • Are you brushing enough? Twice a day is recommended

  • It should take at least 2 minutes each time. We suggest dividing your mouth into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each

  • Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers

3. Don’t Overdo It

  • Brushing more than three times a day might not be ideal because too much can wear down your teeth’s outer shell, called enamel, and damage your gums

  • Use a lighter touch when brushing. If you use an electric brush, let the bristles do the work and just guide the toothbrush

  • Be gentle. It doesn’t take a lot of force to remove plaque

4. Perfect Your Technique

  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make an up-and-down motion

  • Use short strokes

  • Brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, back molars, and your tongue

  • And, don’t forget about those hard-to-reach areas

5. Switch Things Up

  • Do you always begin in the same place? Dentists say most of us do. Start in a different place so that you don’t get lazy. Stay aware of what you’re doing

6. Pick Products Wisely

  • The kind of toothpaste you use matters

  • The ones that brighten or control tartar can be harsh. An increase in whitening particles can be harmful and sand away tooth structure.

  • Go back to plain old fluoride toothpaste. If you want to lighten your smile, you can always switch between whitening toothpaste and regular.

7. Control Your Sour Tooth

  • Energy drinks, diet sodas, and sour candies — even healthy things like apple juice, orange juice, and coffee — have acid that can soften tooth enamel. If you drink these beverages, wait half an hour before you brush. That gives your saliva time to restore tooth enamel

8. Avoid ‘Potty Mouth’

  • Most of us store our brushes in the bathroom — not the cleanest place in the house

  • To keep yours tidy, stand it up in a holder. If you leave it on the counter, you could expose it to germs from your toilet or sink.

  • Don’t let two brushes touch if they’re stored together

  • Air dry your toothbrush– a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria

  • Use a cover that lets air in when you travel

9. Let It Go

  • How old is your brush? You should get a new one every 3 or 4 months

  • Also, give it the eye test. Once the bristles lose their normal flexibility and start to break apart, change your toothbrush. Frayed or broken bristles won’t clean as well

  • Change your toothbrush after being sick

If you can’t decide which toothbrush to buy, ask your dentist which kind is best.

7 views0 comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page