Five Mistakes to Avoid with Toothbrushing


You know it is important to brush your teeth. But did you know there is more to toothbrushing than just brushing?

Many people swish their toothbrush across their teeth a few times, and think they have done a good job. Actually, they may be doing more harm than good. Review the following list of five common mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth:

  1. Not brushing teeth long enough – Dental professionals recommend brushing your teeth twice daily (after breakfast and before bedtime) for at least 2-3 minutes each time
  2. Ignoring tooth surfaces – Spend at least 30 seconds on all sections of the mouth (both sides and middle of all upper and lower teeth), and cover all tooth surfaces
  3. Brushing too hard –Too much pressure on teeth and gums when you brush may damage the tooth enamel, which protects teeth from bacteria; brush teeth using small concentric circles
  4. Brushing immediately after eating – Dental researchers have discovered that brushing your teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods can soften and wear down the tooth enamel; wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your pearly whites
  5. Failing to rinse your mouth – Many people do a great job brushing and flossing, but fail to rinse out dislodged food particles; plaque bacteria in your mouth can feed on leftover food debris and create tooth decay

Dental professionals suggest using an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer to help you brush for the correct amount of time. Some models also are designed with a pressure monitor that lets you know if you’re brushing too hard. Plus, you need to replace the toothbrush head when the bristles are worn. This holds true for manual brushes, too. If using a manual toothbrush, consult your dentist for assistance in selecting a style that best fits your mouth. (Tip: Most dentists recommend soft bristles.)

Read more dental tips in our article:  Daily Care and Toothbrush Choices.


How often do you brush your teeth? Do you prefer an electric or manual toothbrush?