5 Mistakes to Avoid When Brushing Teeth

Gentle Dental

Man brushing his teeth in the mirror

It may seem like a simple task, but few of us brush our teeth as well as we could. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when they are trying to care for their teeth.

  1. You use the wrong toothbrush. There are vast array of toothbrushes on the market. In most cases, you can get away with choosing whichever one you like best. That said, you should make sure that the bristles are soft enough to bend, so you can access hard-to-reach places beneath the gums.
  2. You brush too soon. It may be tempting to hurry into the bathroom after a meal; however, it’s generally a good idea to wait about ten to 15 minutes. This will allow your saliva to remove food particles and digestive acids before you start spreading them around with your toothbrush.
  3. You don’t change your toothbrush enough. When your toothbrush bristles become bent, discolored or begin falling out, it’s a good idea to make a change. You should also change your toothbrush after recovering from an illness.  
  4. You store your toothbrush in an airtight container. It may seem like a good idea to keep your toothbrush locked up. In reality, it’s better to expose it to the open air, so it can dry out. This is because bacteria tend to thrive in dark, moist environments.
  5. You skip the gum line. Bacteria tend to gather where the teeth meet the gums. Make sure to brush below the gum line to eliminate any hidden plaque and bacteria.

Other Considerations

When it comes to proper dental hygiene, myths can sometimes create confusion among people who want the best for their teeth. Here are some helpful answers to some common questions about tooth brushing.

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

To effectively eliminate plaque and bacteria, you need to brush your teeth for at least two minutes. You might try singing a song in your head or setting the timer on your phone to hold yourself more accountable.

How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Dentists recommends that people brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. If you’ve eaten an especially sticky or sugary meal, however, you may want to give your teeth some extra attention.

Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Too much of anything can be bad. Although it’s a good idea to brush at least twice a day, you can cause damage if you get too enthusiastic. Limit the amount of time you spend hovering over the sink and focus on doing a quality job while you are there.

Can You Over-brush Your Teeth

Brushing teeth too hard can irritate your gums, while promoting tooth sensitivity and receding gums. Be sure to gently massage your teeth with your toothbrush. Remember, your mouth is not the bathroom tile. Be thorough but gentle when caring for your teeth and gums.