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12 Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Might Be Making

Updated on March 31, 2020
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Farrah Young is a research analyst and carries out in-depth research on topics.

Tooth Brushing Mistakes
Tooth Brushing Mistakes

12 Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Might be Making

Most of us enter the bathroom to brush our teeth and then go about our daily duties. Unfortunately, we might be making some tooth brushing mistakes that can leave us prone to tooth cavities, tooth decay, and gum problems (gingivitis).

The average person might never experience tooth cavity in his lifetime as the tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body, however, having unhealthy lifestyle habits like eating too much sugary foods, coupled with a few tooth brushing mistakes you might unknowingly be practising, can make you come down with tooth cavities.

Oral diseases affects about 3.9 billion people worldwide 44%) and those at risk of it are people with

- Unhealthy lifestyle diets
- Use tobacco frequently
- Take a lot of alcohol
- Are constantly snacking
- Have bad oral hygiene.

Here are

Tooth Brushing Mistakes
Tooth Brushing Mistakes

12 Tooth Brushing Mistakes that Can Lead to Tooth Caries (Cavities)

1 You use one toothbrush for too long

Most people never plan to use a toothbrush for too long; they get one, start using it and the days just start to fly bye. Before you know it, it's months and they are still using the same toothbrush.

However, while this might be one of the innocent tooth brushing mistakes we make, it still is not without consequences.

You see, the recommended number of times you should use a toothbrush is 200 times or 2-3 months of brushing in the mornings and evenings. This is because after this time, the toothbrush becomes brittle and is unable to properly clean the teeth, leaving you prone to tooth diseases.

2. You don't brush for long enough

The average person brushes for 40-45 seconds and research has proven this time is not long enough to offer the teeth the protection it needs.

You should brush for at least two minutes which is the time the fluoride needs to get to work in eliminating acids and germs as well as protecting your teeth.

3. You don't use a toothpaste with fluoride

A lot of natural toothpastes are being promoted, however, these toothpastes are without fluoride, making you lose out on the all-important function of cavity protection.

Fluoride toothpastes are a must for preventing tooth cavities. Some good FDA-approved fluoride toothpastes you can use include Colgate, Crest, or PRO NAMEL.

4. You rinse with water

Almost everyone rinses with water when they brush, until they get to discover doing so is one of the tooth brushing mistakes that increases their risks of tooth caries (cavities).

While rinsing with water might get your mouth clean when you brush, it also washes away most of the fluoride in your mouth before it has gotten the chance to work on your teeth.

A good alternative is to spit the toothpaste out and leave it at that. However, if this makes you uncomfortable, you should rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.

You store your toothbrush in the bathroom

Storing your toothbrush in the toilet is very convenient and this is probably while a lot of us do it.

A research carried out also found that most toothbrushes have human faeces on them since the water from the toilet bowls sprays in all direction when you flush.


Tooth cavities and tooth decay affects over 40% of adults and is most times caused by some tooth brushing mistakes we unknowingly practice everyday.

Tooth Brushing Mistakes
Tooth Brushing Mistakes

More Tooth Brushing Mistakes...

6. You keep your toothbrush covered

Keeping your toothbrush covered in the bathroom might seem like a good way to prevent faeces and other bacteria from getting on them, but it sadly isn't.

This habit is not healthy nor recommended as the toilet is most often humid, which makes it possible for bacteria to breed on your toothbrush.

You should store your toothbrush away from the toilet; somewhere that will keep the toothbrush safe, but will also make it easy to get to it when needed.

7. You don't brush your tongue

Most of us brush out teeth but forget to brush our tongues and when we are done, whatever bacteria that escaped the cleaning tsunami gets transferred right back unto our teeth and gum.

You should use a tongue cleaner to gently scrub at your gum while you brush, but if you can't get one, then your toothbrush should do just fine.

8. You don't brush the correct way

One of the tooth brushing mistakes most of us make, is brushing in back and forth strokes. The ideal way to brush the teeth is in circular motions as this makes it possible for the toothbrush to clean between your teeth.

9. You brush immediately after eating

You might want to sleep right after dinner, but research has shown brushing immediately after you eat is bad for your teeth; very bad.

You should wait for at least 20 - 30 minutes after a meal to brush as brushing earlier actually pushes the acid produced from the food you eat deeper into your teeth enamel, causing more harm.

10.You use a hard toothbrush

Using a toothbrush that's too hard is not just uncomfortable, but will likely also injure your gum and damage your teeth.

Hard toothbrush use and or brushing too hard overtime have both been known to promote receding gum, enamel wear and tooth sensitivity.

11. You brush too many times a day

Some people, especially people who have had a gum issue or tooth cavities, might decide to start brushing their teeth every time they eat to reduce the chances of tooth cavity.

However, doing this is counter-productive and dentists recommend brushing just twice daily. You should brush in the mornings before meals and again at night just before you go to bed. Brushing more than twice will actually erode at your tooth enamel and damage your gum.

12. Not Flossing Regularly

Flossing helps to eliminate plaques that build up between the teeth. These plaques are harmful as they can lead to gum disease, tooth infection, tooth decay and tooth loss.

You should strive to floss at least one tooth daily and do so just before you brush.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Farrah Young

Comments

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      16 months ago from UK

      I used to brush too hard and was advised to buy an electric toothbrush. You give a good set of tips here.

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