Are You Brushing Your Teeth Correctly? 5 Common Mistakes that People Make

Posted on: 15 June 2016


You may think you're on top of your game when it comes to caring for your teeth; after all, you floss, you brush at least twice a day -- and yet your dentist still has quibbles when you go for your regular checkups. So, what gives? Well, there is a chance that you are not brushing your teeth properly. It sounds crazy, but ask your dentist; many of us, despite our best intentions, just don't brush our teeth right. To find out some common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth and great ways to remedy the problem, read on.

1. Choosing the wrong toothbrush

There are many different types of toothbrushes on the market, and there is a reason for this. In order to get a really deep clean, you need to find a brush that contours to your mouth effectively; this means that if your mouth is small, go for a smaller brush and if it is large, go for a larger brush. Always use the brush with the softest bristles as they are less likely to cause damage to tooth enamel than medium or hard-bristled toothbrushes.

2. Brushing too soon after eating

Always try and wait 30 minutes after a meal before you brush your teeth; the reason for this is that when we eat, the pH level in plaque decreases due to acid production. Brushing your teeth during this period can be abrasive and damaging, so give your pH levels a bit of time to return to normal before you brush.

3. Not remembering your molars

This step sounds obvious, but many people concentrate their brushing on the front of the teeth. In fact, your molars and the inner side of your teeth are places that also need a lot of attention, as your tongue spends a lot of time pressing against these areas. Just remember when you're brushing to take the brush around your entire mouth, cleaning the front, back and side of every tooth to ensure you get rid of any plaque or food particles.

4. Brushing at the wrong angle

According to WedMD, when brushing your teeth your toothbrush should be held at 45 degrees where the teeth meet the gums, so check you are holding your brush correctly in order to get a good clean below and above the gum line. Be sure to press down firmly, gently moving the toothbrush back and forth using small circular movements. Do not use too much pressure or scrub the teeth.

5. Using an old brush

Many people hang on to their toothbrushes for far too long. However well you rinse your toothbrush, food particles and bacteria will build up over time; therefore, it's important to replace your brush every 90 days or so. If you use an electric toothbrush, use the same timeframe as a guide on when to change your head.

Follow these five tips and you should have a delighted dentist at your next visit!