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10 Common Toothbrushing Mistakes


10 Common Toothbrushing Mistakes

Do you brush routinely and still spot tartar or have tooth decay? Despite their constant care for their teeth, many wonders why they have gum disease and tooth decay issues.

Brushing routinely is not enough. Are you doing it at the right time? And correctly? Here are the common brushing mistakes you make and ways to correct them.  

Not brushing for long  

Most people have yet to learn how long they need to brush. 30 seconds, 45 seconds, or 60 seconds. You probably think you are spending enough time brushing. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush for at least 2 minutes (120 seconds) each time to eliminate a decent amount of plaque. 

To do this correctly, set a timer and gently but thoroughly brush. You need to add extra time if you have devices such as braces or implants.

Not brushing enough

Most people think brushing once daily is enough to protect their mouth for the day. Brushing twice a day to get rid of bacteria and plaque is crucial. Each time you eat, the surfaces of your teeth attract the foods, that way, you need to brush the nooks and crannies of your teeth for a thorough cleanse.

Brushing at the wrong time

The majority of people often brush at the wrong time. Your mouth is always slightly acidic, and your tooth enamel wakens a little for the first 20 to 30 minutes after eating. If you brush immediately after you eat, you may be at risk of wearing down your enamel quickly. Less enamel means it’s easier for bacteria to dwell in and cause cavities and infection. 

To prevent this, ensure that you wait at least 30 minutes after you eat before brushing. And if you are in a hurry, you can rinse with water or use mouthwash to neutralize the acid.

Not brushing correctly

Brushing the right way is more than just moving the brush up, down, and sideways. Place your toothbrush on your teeth, then tilt it up to form a 45-degree angle to your gum. Then move the brush head from tooth to tooth, including the inner surfaces and the tops or chewing surfaces. For better access to the angles, try using your left hand to brush the right side of your mouth and your right hand to brush the left side.

Not Flossing

Flossing is often perceived as an unnecessary routine. If you don’t floss, you miss half the surfaces of your teeth and plenty of plaque capable of causing cavities and gum disease.

Not brushing your tongue

The tongue is the floor of the mouth. It helps you speak and swallow and traps bacteria that lead to bad breath and tooth and gum decay. Use your toothbrush to clean gently from back to front a few times after brushing.

Brushing too hard

This sound familiar. We often think that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth. The best way to clean the teeth is through repetition, not force. Too much pressure wears down the enamel and causes recession.

Using too much toothpaste

You don’t need too much toothpaste to clean your teeth. Adults need just a pea-sized amount or half of a standard toothbrush. Fluoride, a mineral in toothpaste, can change the shape and structure of your teeth.

Storing your toothbrush the wrong way

Rather than cover or store your brush too closely in a container with other toothbrushes, air dries them instead. Bacteria thrive in moist environments; covering your meeting or keeping it too close to others can encourage microbial action.

Using your brush for too long

How often do you change your brush? The lifespan of a toothbrush is 3 to 4 months. After that, the bristles become worn out and won’t clean the teeth. 


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