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The Most Common Toothbrushing Mistakes

The Most Common Toothbrushing Mistakes

Did you know that you may not be brushing your teeth correctly? In fact, many dentists notice their patients making certain mistakes when it comes to brushing their teeth. These mistakes are fairly common and can be easily remedied by making a few minor adjustments to your brushing routine. Have you ever made any of these mistakes?

Scrubbing Your Teeth

Many people believe that scrubbing their teeth helps to remove more plaque, as well as stains. Unfortunately, this is not the case since plaque is soft and comes off easily, and most stains cannot be removed by brushing alone. When you brush your teeth too hard, you actually risk damaging your enamel by causing dental erosion. You also irritate your gums, which may cause them to recede, or pull away from the tooth. 

Diagram showing how to brush your teeth

Not only that, but the mentality of “scrubbing” also implies that your toothbrush moves back and forth over your teeth. In actuality you shouldn start at the gums and move your toothbrush up and down each tooth. Instead of scrubbing your teeth, think of it as gently massaging your teeth. Massaging your teeth in up and down circles helps you remove plaque while not damaging your enamel or gums. 

yellow toothbrush

Not paying attention to your toothbrush

Since your toothbrush is the main tool used to brush your teeth, it is important to select the right one. Not all toothbrushes are the same, and some can even be detrimental to your enamel. The ideal toothbrush is one that is long enough to reach the back of your mouth and that has soft bristles. To make things easy on yourself, simply look for a toothbrush with the American Dental Association seal of approval.

Once you are using the right toothbrush, it is also important to remember to replace this toothbrush when it begins to wear down which is usually about every 3-4 months. Worn toothbrushes have bristles that will appear frayed, discolored, or even bent. Not only are worn toothbrushes not very effective, but they can harbor harmful bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay. For this reason, you will also want to switch toothbrushes when you are sick. 

Rushing

This is an extremely common mistake and it is one that is easy to make, especially if you are running late. In order to get the most out of your brushing routine, the ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes twice a day. Trying to save time by shaving off a few seconds renders your brushing not as effective and in some cases, it may be like you didn’t even brush at all. 

One main reason why you should not rush while brushing your teeth is because you will likely miss some key areas. In fact, dentists notice that patients often miss the inside of their mouth, as well as along the gum line. When these areas are frequently missed, they allow plaque to build up and eventually harden into tartar. Additionally, plaque accumulation along the gum line can not only cause tooth decay, but gum disease as well. 

Rinsing

After brushing your teeth, you may be tempted to rinse your mouth with water. However, doing so also rinses the fluoride off your teeth. Fluoride is used in toothpaste because of its ability to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. The longer fluoride remains on your teeth, the more effective it is. Therefore, you should not rinse your mouth with water after brushing. 

Jonathan McCartney D.M.D

Dr. Jonathan McCartney
works through a dependable team to give you a personalized dental experience. After earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Case Western Dental School, he moved to North Port, FL, and established his practice in 2013 to combine affordable dental care with the latest technology feats in dentistry. Through McCartney Dental, you can experience confidence in your smile.

Jonathan McCartney D.M.D

Dr. Jonathan McCartney
works through a dependable team to give you a personalized dental experience. After earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Case Western Dental School, he moved to North Port, FL, and established his practice in 2013 to combine affordable dental care with the latest technology feats in dentistry. Through McCartney Dental, you can experience confidence in your smile.

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