10 toothbrushing mistakes


Here’s a few quick and useful tips to help fight cavities and gum disease.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 1: Not Using the Right Toothbrush. Consider the size of your mouth when picking a toothbrush, the more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly. Which is better: Electric or manual?  “It’s an individual preference, a person who brushes well with a manual will do as well as a person who brushes well with an electric. Having said that electric brushes make hard to reach areas much easier.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 2: Not Picking the Right Bristles. Overall the type of bristle doesn’t make much difference as long as they are soft. Hard bristles are very damaging when combined with the polishing abrasives found in tooth paste and can be aggressive on gums as well.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 3: Not Brushing Often Enough or Long Enough. Softly brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended though brushing after every meal is preferable. With too much time between brushings, bacterial plaque will build up, boosting the risk of gum inflammation and other problems. Brushing should last at least two minutes though three minutes is even better. Using a disclosing tablet every now and then will quickly show you what you are missing and where to spend more time in future.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 4: Brushing Too Often or Too Hard. Excessive brushing or pressing too hard can expose the root of the tooth to irritation, and that could in turn irritate the gums. Brushing vigorously can also erode tooth enamel. The trick is to brush very gently for two to three minutes.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 5: Not Brushing Correctly. Long horizontal strokes along the gumline can lead to abrasions. Aim your bristles at the gum line at a 45-degree angle and do short strokes or vibrations.” Softly brush up and down your teeth, not across your teeth. The strokes should be vertical or circular, not horizontal. Be sure to brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, the chewing surfaces, and your tongue. Electric toothbrushes tend to do this for you. If you are unsure about the best method for you, talk to your dentist or hygienist and they’ll demonstrate it for you. Basically the teeth should feel smooth and polished all over.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 6: Starting in the Same Place Each Time. Many people start brushing the same part of their mouth over and over.Start in a different place so that you don’t get lazy in the same area of your mouth. The last area brushed often gets rushed so mixing it up a bit will help ensure more of the mouth is brushed more thoroughly.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 7: Skipping Inner Tooth Surfaces. Most people forget to brush the inner surfaces of teeth — the surface that your tongue presses against.The plaque you can’t see is just as important to remove as the plaque you can see. The most commonly skipped area is the inner surface of the lower front teeth.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 8: Not Following Up With a Rinse. Bacteria can grow on an un-rinsed toothbrush. Then, the next time you brush your teeth, you may actually put old bacteria back in your mouth. Rinsing the toothbrush after you brush will help remove any leftover toothpaste. It’s important though to not rinse your mouth after brushing. Spit the remaining toothpaste out but no rinsing or you will wash away all the fluoride before it has time to help.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 9: Not Letting the Toothbrush Dry. “If you have a toothbrush that’s perpetually moist, it will cultivate more bacteria.

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 10: Not Changing the Toothbrush Often Enough. The generral recommendation is to get a new brush every three or four months, or even sooner if the bristles look frayed.