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10 Common Brushing Mistakes

Health Tips

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common brushing mistakes

Mistake 1: Using the wrong toothbrush

Among the most common brushing mistakes is not using the right tooth brush.

There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider: manual and electric. Choose what feels comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly.

A manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums. 

An electric toothbrush requires charging and does make some noise whilst brushing. The rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier to clean between the teeth and the gum line. May electric toothbrushes come with built in sensors to control how much pressure you are putting on your teeth and timers to indicate how long you should brush for which can really come in handy.

The size of the brush’s head is important as well, especially if you have a smaller mouth. Brushes also have various sizes and handles. It is easy to get confused by all the various options. 

No matter which type of toothbrush you use, be sure to keep it clean.

Mistake 2: Using the wrong brushing technique 

There are many recommendations of how you should brush your teeth, how often you should brush and for how long.

When it comes to brushing, harder is not better. Start from the gum line and go up and down. It is a common brushing mistake to simply glide along the teeth, left and right. Think MASSAGE, not scrub. Imagine brushing in little circular, up and down motions. Brushing seems like such an easy task, but you can really do some damage to your teeth if you do it wrong.

Mistake 3: Not brushing your teeth long enough

Two minutes twice a day is the recommended duration for a tooth brushing session. 

But the average person’s brushing time is ONLY 45 SECONDS!

2 minutes is recommended for a reason. Any brushing duration shorter than 2 minutes does not give the fluoride in your toothpaste enough time to do its job and attach to the enamel in your teeth. 

So brush your two minutes, set a timer, play a song. Whatever helps you stick to the 2 minute rule, your teeth will thank you for it. 

Mistake 4: Brushing too frequently

Brushing too much is just as bad as not brushing enough. Being too abrasive on your teeth can damage your teeth as well as your gums. Doing this as a habit can create sensitive teeth and other dental issues. Using an electric toothbrush that can sense how hard you are brushing would help you a lot. 

Mistake 5: Ignoring the inner surfaces of the teeth 

The thing is, we have been brushing our teeth since we were babies. Whether you realise it or not, you have a way of brushing your teeth without even thinking about it. You have a habit that has been programmed in you for years. That’s years of missing the same spots every time. 

Be more mindful, brushing your teeth properly is so important. Obviously brushing is important, but the way you brush is key. You have to make sure your technique of brushing is immaculate. You need to get every crevice of your mouth. 

Mistake 6: Storing your toothbrush wet 

The problem with storing your toothbrush wet is when you store your toothbrush in a confined space such as a drawer or cabinet. If it stays moist in a small space, it will become a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure it air dries before you put your toothbrush away.

Once you are finished brushing your teeth, the American Dental Association  let your toothbrush air dry, upright, not touching any other toothbrush heads. Before you start brushing, rinse the bristles of your toothbrush thoroughly with warm water to remove any debris, and do the same after you have finished. The handle of your toothbrush is also quite important. Make sure to often wipe it down and keep it clean

Mistake 7: Not replacing your old toothbrush 

It’s important that you change your toothbrush or toothbrush head about every three to four months. If the bristles are very frayed you should change it sooner. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles, if they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.   

Mistake 8: Rinsing your mouth after you brush 

Many people have the habit of rinsing their mouth after they brush their teeth. It is nothing more than a bad habit. Doing this washes out the fluoride in your toothpaste that is meant to coat your teeth and protect them (which you need so don’t do it). 

Some of you will still want to rinse your mouth out of habit. If that’s the case just use mouthwash or mouth rinse that contains fluoride instead of water. 

Do not use water!

Mistake 9: Ignoring floss 

Make it a habit to start flossing daily. Flossing is required at least once a day to efficiently remove plaque from your teeth in places where your toothbrush cannot reach. 

Plaque that is not removed through brushing and flossing turns into hard calcified deposits on your teeth, which I can tell you now, is not good.

Set a routine. It’s the best way to keep up with your oral hygiene.  

Mistake 10: Forgetting your tongue

A lot of people miss this step. Brushing your tongue is just as important as brushing your teeth. Your tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria as it tends to linger on your tongue. Make cleaning your tongue part of your routine after you brush your teeth. 

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