facebook Image

10 Brushing Habits to Avoid

What Not to Do for Healthier Teeth
Mar 23, 2021

Brushing your teeth is a great way to keep your teeth not just clean but also healthy. However, if you don’t brush the right way, you won’t get the oral health benefits of brushing. On top of that, you may actually be harming your teeth. But what bad habits should you avoid?

Is It Possible to Brush Too Soon?

It’s tempting to brush your teeth immediately after eating. After all, brushing your teeth is supposed to be good for your oral health, right? In some cases, however, it can actually be bad. If you’ve just eaten something acidic, brushing right away can harm your enamel. This is because the acid from the food you’ve eaten is still in your mouth and the brushing rubs the acid into your teeth, wearing away at the enamel. It’s best to wait 30 minutes after eating anything before brushing your teeth.

How Often Do I Need to Replace My Toothbrush?

Another brushing mistake that many people make is keeping a toothbrush for too long. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months. Kept any longer than that and the bristles start bending and softening. Bristles that are bent, broken, or frayed won’t do as good a job at keeping your teeth clean. If your toothbrush is too old, then no matter how regularly you brush, you won’t get many of the benefits of brushing.

Kid brushing his teeth

Is Brushing Hard Bad for My Teeth?

It may seem counterintuitive, but brushing too hard can be very bad for your teeth. You might think that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be. However, what actually happens is that you end up wearing away not just plaque and food particles but also the enamel that protects your teeth. It’s best to brush in softer, circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

How Long Should I Brush My Teeth?

Many people make the mistake of not brushing their teeth for long enough. Every time you brush your teeth, it should be for at least two minutes. Most people don’t meet the two-minute mark, managing only about 45 seconds every time. It can help to set a timer so that you’ll keep brushing until you’ve reached that two-minute mark. The two minutes is really needed to completely get rid of the bacteria that are in your mouth.

How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?

Another common mistake is not brushing often enough. Many people only brush once per day. However, you should be brushing at least twice per day for at least two minutes for optimal oral health.

How Should I Store My Toothbrush?

Improperly storing your toothbrush can also be bad for your teeth. You should store your toothbrush upright and in the open, such as in a cup or special toothbrush holder. Storing a toothbrush in a closed container prevents it from drying properly and allows bacteria to form on the bristles. Bacteria and germs can then get into your mouth the next time you brush your teeth.

What Kind of Toothbrush Should I Buy?

Just as brushing too hard can wear away your enamel, so can a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard. You should buy toothbrushes that have soft bristles. That way, your toothbrush can help you brush softer.

What Is the Proper Brushing Technique?

It’s also important to use the right brushing technique when cleaning your teeth. Many people make the mistake of brushing side to side. Instead, you’re supposed to brush in a circular motion, making sure to clean every side of the tooth and even up under the gumline.

Woman flossing

Why Is Flossing So Important?

Another bad habit that many people get into is not flossing enough. Many people forget to floss altogether. However, just brushing can’t clean in between your teeth the way flossing can. You should floss once a day for optimal oral health.

Are Whiteners Bad for Your Teeth?

Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, soda pop, and tea, can stain your teeth, leaving them looking less than pearly white. As tempting as it can be to fix that by using whiteners, it’s important to be careful how much and how frequently you use tooth whiteners. Whiteners can be very abrasive and wear away at your enamel, which protects your teeth.

For informational purposes only.