We all know the importance of regularly brushing our teeth and flossing. But even if you’re diligent about it, you may be making some common tooth-brushing mistakes that prevent you from getting the maximum benefits from your oral hygiene routine.
So, take a quick look at these common tooth-brushing mistakes and double check that you’re avoiding them. And, of course, share them with the kids to make sure they’re doing a good job brushing, too. Proper brushing is one of the most important daily habits to promote oral health.
Don’t Make These Teeth-Brushing Mistakes
- Not brushing long enough – A thorough, effective tooth brushing lasts at least 2 minutes. If you do it for less than that, you mostly just move particles around rather than remove them.
- Only brushing once a day – If you’re one of those people who only brush after you wake up to get rid of your morning breath, you’re not brushing enough. You should brush at least twice, and maybe even three times daily. A cleaning before bed is important to get the day’s buildup off your teeth before it has a chance to sit on them and your gums overnight.
- Using poor technique – Yes, there’s good and not-so-good technique when it comes to brushing your teeth. Here’s a quick review of proper teeth-brushing technique.
- Using too much toothpaste – You only need a little blob about the size of a pea. Many people use two or three times that much. In fact, this is one of the most common tooth-brushing mistakes.
- Not using a soft-bristled toothbrush – Soft-bristled toothbrushes are ideal. Medium and hard bristles can hurt your gums. They can also damage your braces too, if you wear them.
- Keeping your toothbrush too long – Your toothbrush should be replaced at least every three months. They can get kind of gross after a while, and the bristles get worn and become less effective at cleaning your teeth.
- Not brushing your tongue – Yes, your tongue should be brushed too every time you brush your teeth. Plaque also builds up on it.
- Not using fluoridated toothpaste – Fluoride helps repair naturally occurring damage to the enamel of your teeth. This is another reason it’s important to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes; that provides enough time to work the fluoride into your enamel.