Brushing your teeth may seem like a simple task—but every day we see the results of poor technique. There are several common mistakes that you may be making when you're brushing your teeth.
Here are the top mistakes that most people make when it comes to taking care of their teeth:
- Using a toothbrush way too long. The life of the bristles of a toothbrush is about 90 days. After that, the bristles get to bend and the toothbrush is more apt to be carrying bacteria.
- Not brushing your teeth long enough. Teeth should be brushed for 2 full minutes. If you need help, a kitchen timer works great for this!
- You're using water after fluoride mouthrinse. Fluoride protects the teeth after brushing—but if you immediately rinse with water, you are washing away the benefits before the mouth rinse can begin to work.
- Storing your toothbrush in the bathroom. Is your toothbrush in the bathroom? When the toilet is used, and flushed, small particles are caught up into the air and can land on your toothbrush (Poop + toothbrush = bad!)
- You “forget” to floss.Flossing is not a lot of fun, but it is the best way to remove particles and bacteria from between teeth. If you have trouble flossing, try flat and waxed floss. It works as well, but it’s easier on tight-teeth.
- Not cleaning your tongue invest in a tongue cleaner. Bacteria lives on your tongue. Scaping your tongue with a tongue scraper can help.
- You are using too hard a toothbrush. Toothbrushes come in a variety of bristle types. However, the human tooth does not need to be brushed with hard bristles. In fact, hard bristles can actually damage both teeth and gums. Soft-bristled brushes are better, even if it takes a moment longer to get teeth clean.
- Not angling the brush at a 45 degrees. Toothbrushes should be angled at about 45 degrees around the gums to get the best clean.
- Not waiting 30 minutes after you’ve eaten to brush your teeth. After you eat (and drink), you should wait at least 30 minutes to brush. This is because some foods “soften” the enamel or are acidic and your mouth needs time for your saliva to neutralize the mouth before scrubbing them.