Finding out that you have tooth decay or gum bleeding because of poor dental hygiene can be quite a surprise, especially for people who brush their teeth on a regular basis.

However, and as experts point out, it is not enough to brush your teeth frequently; you also need to do it properly and avoid common mistakes.

In this article, we will briefly discuss some of the most common teeth cleaning mistakes that people make. This will give you the insight to avoid them in the future.

You are using the wrong toothbrush

In the world of dentistry, there are two main types of toothbrushes:

  • The regular (i.e., manual) toothbrush
  • The electric toothbrush

Each type has its advantages and inconveniences. When choosing a toothbrush, you need to make sure that it can access the entirety of your mouth. You also need to check that the bristles are soft and don’t wear off quickly.

Unfortunately, the manual toothbrush lacks in this field since it mainly gives access to the anterior side (i.e., front access), whereas the back of the mouth is poorly covered.

Conversely, electric toothbrushes can reach every part of your mouth and can tell you when you’re pressing too hard on the teeth or gum by buzzing or turning a light on.

To complete the list of requirements for the perfect toothbrush, you should aim for smaller sized ones regardless of how old you are. Small toothbrushes offer better access to the entire mouth.

Choosing the wrong toothpaste

Regardless of the number of ads shown on TV, displaying the fascinating benefits of a certain toothpaste, researchers found no evidence of the superiority of one toothpaste over the others.

However, it is the ingredients and their ratios to that target specific alterations of the teeth. For instance, fluoride-rich toothpastes often improve the health of the enamel, which is important for sensitive teeth.

Therefore, try to determine the primary goal you’re trying to achieve before purchasing toothpaste.

Flossing your teeth wrong

Flossing is an important step in any dental hygiene routine. This practice allows you to gets rid of everything that gets stuck between your teeth (e.g., food, plaques, bacterial biofilms).

The most common mistake regarding flossing is focusing too much on the front teeth and forgetting about the ones in the back of your oral cavity.

To reverse this, try to focus on each tooth individually.

Brushing too fast

According to a 2009 study, you should brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes to completely get rid of all pathogens and food debris.

The study also emphasizes the importance of the frequent brushing of your teeth since bacteria tend to overgrow after each meal.

This timeline is by no means met, as the Academy of General Dentistry reports that the average person brushes their teeth for only 45–70 seconds per day.

Rinsing your mouth after brushing

In general, toothpastes contain enamel-protective compounds that prevent tooth decay and optimize the health of your oral cavity. If you rinse your mouth after brushing, the majority of these compounds will be lost, which leaves your teeth and mouth exposed to the external environment.

Instead, try to opt for spitting the water. This will allow you to keep the toothpaste inside your mouth for a prolonged time to protect it against harmful bacteria.

Note that this is extremely important during the night since bacteria often start to grow when you’re asleep.

Bad time for brushing

Foods with low pH (e.g., acids foods) can directly damage your teeth and gum. Fortunately, the saliva provides a layer of protection that prevents this process from occurring.

However, if you brush your teeth shortly after eating a meal, you will leave your mouth exposed to the acidic environment without the protection of saliva.

Dental hygienists recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, as it will allow the glands to secrete more saliva into the oral cavity.

For those of you who cannot stand the smell of food and have to brush their teeth, you can always opt for rinsing your mouth with water to ease up the smell.

Takeaway message

When brushing your teeth, you are subject to several mistakes that could negatively impact the health of your teeth and predispose you to gingival (i.e., gum) diseases.

The goal of this article was to introduce some of these common mistakes to help you avoid them in the future.

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with our dentist or hygienist feel free to contact us at any time by clicking on this link.

DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation.  Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.