brushing their teeth

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Brushing Their Teeth

March 3, 2023

Everyone knows the importance of brushing their teeth; however, did you know that there are several mistakes that you may be making when brushing your teeth? Brushing your teeth regularly and properly is essential for maintaining good oral health.

Unfortunately, improperly brushing your teeth can cause significant dental issues, including tooth sensitivity, gum recession, and weak enamel. To ensure you use proper brushing techniques, talk with your dentist about the best way to brush your teeth, and keep reading to hear more.

Below, we will tell you some common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth that you may need to be aware of to avoid doing it too.

12 Mistakes People Make When Brushing Their Teeth

You may be brushing regularly and still experiencing dental issues that may be preventable if you brush adequately. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth, often without realizing they are doing it all wrong.

#1. Brushing Too Hard

Some people think brushing hard will ensure their teeth are cleaner; however, practicing this misconception can damage gum and enamel. Your gums may also bleed due to excessive brushing, and the tissue may become damaged.

If you notice that the bristles on your toothbrush appear spread apart and worn out, you are brushing too hard. You will not get more plaque off or get your teeth whiter from brushing hard; the best way to get whiter teeth is to make an appointment for a professional teeth whitening treatment.

#2. Using a Toothbrush with Harder Bristles

You will find toothbrushes with various bristle hardness, materials, and patterns. However, brushing with more rigid bristles can damage your teeth, and gums can wear out enamel and cause gum irritation as the stiff bristles cause a great deal of friction. Talk with your dentist to determine which type of toothbrush would be best for your teeth.

#3. Brushing with the Wrong Toothpaste

The best toothpaste contains a combination of calcium, fluoride, mint, and other abrasives, and some brands may develop specific formulations to address specific dental issues. 

However, some toothpaste may contain chemicals that improve teeth whitening abilities, reduce teeth sensitivity, prevent bacterial growth, and reduce inflammation or other ingredients that may cause side effects. Therefore, it is best to consult your dentist to decide which toothpaste is best for your teeth and oral health to have a smile you love.

#4. Not Changing Your Toothbrush Regularly

You may wonder if you need to change your toothbrush regularly. Most toothbrushes are made of plastic or rubber, and even though you may think they will last forever, they should be replaced at least once every three to four months or sooner if necessary.

When you notice your toothbrush showing bristle loss, staining, or worn bristles, it is time for a new toothbrush to ensure you can adequately brush your teeth and avoid excessive abrasion on your gums and teeth.

#5. You Don’t Brush Your Teeth Long Enough

Surprisingly, many people feel inconvenienced when brushing their teeth and rush through it. However, the duration you spend brushing can impact your oral health, so make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Spending a couple of minutes in the morning and evening is a small price to pay to have healthy teeth and gums.

#6. You Skip Cleaning Your Tongue

The tongue is often neglected and forgotten when brushing the teeth; however, it is a petri dish of bacteria in your mouth. Your tongue is the first thing to connect with food and drinks, welcoming pathogens into the mouth and making it highly prone to plaque buildup and biofilm growth. Use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue safely and effectively, as simply brushing it isn’t enough.

#7. Brushing In The Same Pattern Every Time

Falling into regularly brushing your teeth in the same pattern may lead to some parts of your mouth being missed as you are brushing on autopilot instead of mindfully brushing your teeth. The best way to ensure your teeth are cleaned properly is to be mindful when brushing and alternating your brushing pattern with prioritizing various areas of your mouth.

#8. Rinsing Your Mouth After Brushing

Many people will naturally feel like they should rinse after brushing; however, if you do that, the water will rinse away the fluoride in the toothpaste meant to help strengthen your teeth. Therefore, it is better to only spit out any remaining toothpaste instead of rinsing.

#9. Improperly Storing Your Toothbrush 

Ensure you are keeping your toothbrush upright and allowing it to air dry, as keeping it in a sealed container can encourage microbial growth.

#10. Only Brushing Once A Day

The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily for at least two minutes. It’s essential to ensure that you wait at least 30 minutes after your meal to brush to protect your tooth enamel.

#11. Brushing Too Soon After A Meal

You have probably heard that you need to brush after every meal; however, it is recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after you drink or eat. This is because when you brush too soon, you’re brushing acidic saliva all over your teeth, which causes enamel erosion as your saliva pH drops from a neutral level of around 7 to a more acidic level of about 4.5 during eating to aid digestion.

#12. Don’t Skip The Floss

Even if you’re brushing twice daily, floss is still crucial. Flossing helps remove deep plaque forming between your teeth and along your gum line and is an essential habit for good oral health.

Carrie Muzny DDS Is Here To Help You Maintain Excellent Oral Health

At Carrie Muzny DDS, our kind and compassionate team of experts utilize modern techniques and preventative dentistry for the whole family and ensure you are well cared for and maintain excellent oral health. We also offer cosmetic and restorative procedures, surgeries, and professional teeth whitening in the Woodlands area.

Contact us to book an appointment or consultation with one of our exceptionally trained dentists today, and we will ensure you leave with a beautiful white smile!

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