Brushing teeth is a basic hygiene practice. Everyone brushes their teeth. Some people do it religiously every morning. Others brush their teeth as if on auto-pilot. You must have also learned a few basics of oral hygiene as a kid. The lessons might have been forgotten now. You may have evolved a personal style of brushing to suit your grown-up routine.
The next time you brush your teeth, take a closer look in the mirror. Do your teeth look dull and stained? Aren’t you making a mistake by rushing through the brushing routine?
Brushing too quickly is probably the most common brushing mistake. But there are many others. Let’s count down to the 9 common mistakes to avoid while brushing your teeth.
Table of Contents
#9 Not Brushing For The Right Duration
Did you know that on average people brush their teeth only for 45 seconds?
That’s way less than the dentist-recommended brushing time of 2 minutes. If you brush for less than 2 minutes, the fluoride on your toothpaste will not act on your tooth enamel. Besides, most parts of your teeth remain out of reach from the brush when you brush too quickly. If you’re not the average person who brushes too quickly, you might be the one who spends too much time brushing. That’s not a good take on brushing either! Brushing longer than two minutes can erode your tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity.
We highly recommend using an electric toothbrush, which guides you to brush for exactly two minutes. Another option is to keep a timer or use your phone and time yourself while brushing.
#8 Brushing Too Hard
People who are too conscious about their smiles and oral hygiene may tend to brush too hard. Don’t assume that your power strokes will clean your teeth well. Brushing with a lot of pressure can do more damage than you could imagine.
Brushing your teeth vigorously can lead to worn-out teeth and loss of tooth enamel. It could make your teeth highly sensitive too. To check whether you are using more than the required pressure while brushing look at your toothbrush bristles. If they appear splayed out, you’ll know you need to adopt gentle ways while brushing.
#7 Rinsing Your Mouth With Water
You read it right! Don’t rinse after brushing! Spitting out the toothpaste after brushing is enough. If you’re in the habit of rinsing your mouth, you should use a mouthwash. Avoid rinsing with water though.
Rinsing the toothpaste with water after brushing wipes off the fluoride that’s meant to act on your teeth. In this way, you’re defeating the purpose of fluoride in the toothpaste. For this reason, you should wait for at least 30 minutes after brushing and then drink water or any other beverage.
#6 Not Flossing
Most people are not in the habit of flossing their teeth. But flossing is essential to remove plaque from your teeth. Brushing isn’t effective for removing plaque. Accumulated plaque can harden and form tartar, which appears as an ugly yellow deposit on your teeth. Plaque can also cause cavities.
Start today. Start with a single tooth. Start flossing today. Gradually it will become your habit.
#5 Not Cleaning Your Tongue
Cleaning your tongue should be a part of your brushing routine. Plenty of bacteria sit on your tongue from the night before, so it needs a thorough cleaning in the morning. You need to clean your tongue when you brush at night too.
Your unclean tongue can lead to oral thrush. If you don’t clean your tongue regularly, you may also have bad breath.
#4 Using Poor Quality Toothbrush
Poor quality toothbrushes will lead to poor brushing. If the bristles of the brush are too hard they can damage your teeth and gums. If you see bleeding gums often or suffer from tooth sensitivity, you need to replace your toothbrush ASAP.
Choose a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles. Replace your old tooth every 2-3 months. It is not hygienic to use a toothbrush for more than 3 months. Besides after 3 months, the bristles get worn out and your toothbrush isn’t very effective.
#3 Using The Wrong Brushing Technique
If you could pay attention to the brushing technique, you would be surprised how clean your teeth look and how fresh your mouth feels. Instead of scrubbing the toothbrush back and forth, you should adopt a gentle circular motion. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. This technique prevents hurting your gums. It also gives a superior cleanup to your teeth’ surface.
If you’re keen on the most effective cleaning for your teeth, you should give disclosing tablets a try. These tablets act as highlighters and bring plaque and tartar to focus. With your target in clear sight, you’ll not miss brushing over plaque deposits. We recommend Smile Brilliant’s Plaque Highlighters which come as tablets that temporarily dye the plaque pink, giving you an opportunity to brush your teeth thoroughly.
#2 Brushing Too Frequently
Are you rushing to brush your teeth after every meal? If yes, then you’re making a huge mistake. You need to brush your teeth twice a day. That’s it!
Brushing any more times will not benefit you in any way. You will be damaging your teeth this way. The acidic content in your saliva rises while you’re eating, and brushing immediately after a meal can push the acid deeper into your teeth. This can severely harm the tooth enamel. Always remember to wait at least 30 minutes after eating any meal.
#1 Getting Stuck With The Brushing Routine
You may be the one who brushes twice a day religiously. But are you not guilty of brushing your teeth in a mundane way? Are brushing mindfully every day, or just going about the rut on auto-mode?
Take a minute to answer these questions.
When you get stuck in the routine, you repeat the task by habit. When it comes to brushing your teeth, you may always work on some areas and leave out certain parts. You may always start brushing at one area and always end at certain other places.
You need to shake the routine a bit. Start from a different point every time. Try to be more mindful about the technique and reach of your brushing efforts.
Ignoring the essential techniques and tips for brushing might have already taken away the bright charm of your smile. It’s still not that late, though. If you want to avoid common mistakes while brushing your teeth, you already know what you’ve got to do.
Take small steps. Break one habit at a time. Soon, you’ll get used to the new ways.