When patients present to the dentist’s office, they are often surprised by the amount of damage that their teeth and gums inflicted.

This feeling of surprise stems from believing that they’re doing everything correctly, including the regular brushing of their teeth.

However, the simple brushing of your teeth does not make them invincible, especially if you’re doing it wrong.

In this article, we will identify the common teeth cleaning mistakes that people make and see how we can fix them.

You are using the wrong toothbrush

Both experts and regular people often debate about the best toothbrush to use.

As a rule of thumb, the best toothbrush is the one that gives you access to the entire mouth. Using this logic, we can see that manual toothbrushes are not optimal since they barely reach the back of the mouth and tongue.

On the other hand, we have electric toothbrushes that reach the entirety of your mouth. Furthermore, these brushes are equipped with sensors that signal you when you’re brushing too hard. This will prevent gum bleeding and tissue erosion.

Obviously, the bristles are extremely important in determining the right toothbrush for you. Always seek a soft or medium texture since hard bristles wouldn’t clean the oral cavity properly.

As a final tip, look for a small/medium-sized toothbrush to get better access.

Choosing the wrong toothpaste

Over the years, researchers inspected dozens of toothpastes to see which one is more effective. The results debunked many myths about the superiority of certain toothpastes.

With that being said, each manufacturer uses different ingredients to develop their toothpaste, which creates diversity in the targeted market.

For example, people who deal with chronic enamel abrasion could benefit from toothpastes that contain large amounts of calcium and fluoride. Others may want to whiten their teeth and find certain toothpaste to be effective.

The bottom line is to choose the toothpaste based on your individual needs and not because it appeared on many ads.

To remove the confusion from this matter, try to consult with your dental hygienist to choose the best product for you.

Improper flossing of your teeth

Flossing should be part of your dental hygiene routine. It allows for the removal of stuck parts of food, plaques, and bacterial biofilms.

All dentists advocate for the use of flossing since toothbrushes cannot possibly remove all the deposits between your teeth.

Now that you know about the importance of flossing, you need to learn how to do it properly. By far, the most common mistake that people make when flossing is focusing too much on the front side of the teeth. Therefore, you need to place more emphasis on the posterior (i.e., back) side of your teeth, as they’re more susceptible to decay.

Brushing too fast

Scientists found that you need to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes to remove all the food debris and harmful pathogens.

Moreover, you should brush your teeth twice a day, with more emphasis on night brushing since the activity of bacteria peaks during the night.

The Academy of General Dentistry states that the average person brushes their teeth for 45–70 seconds, which is insufficient. If this duration is split into two brushing periods, you’ll end up with 20–35 seconds per session. That’s almost a quarter of the recommended duration.

Rinsing your mouth after brushing

In general, people rinse their mouths after they brush their teeth, and while it may sound surprising, this is not the correct way to do it.

Here’s why:

Toothpastes usually contain enamel-protecting properties that optimize the health of your oral cavity and counter the harmful effects of bacteria. After rinsing your mouth, the vast majority of this substance gets lost.

One helpful tip to get around this bad habit is by spitting after brushing your teeth instead of rinsing. As a result, you’ll be leaving a sufficient amount of the toothpaste stuck to your teeth, which act as a protective shield.

Bad time for brushing

The saliva provides the body with numerous health benefits, including protection from the acidic environment created by certain foods (e.g., lemon juice). If you brush your teeth too fast after eating, you’ll end up damaging the enamel.

In fact, experts recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, which allows your saliva to recover. If you’re too uncomfortable with the odour of your mouth, you can rinse with water a couple of times until the waiting period is over.

Takeaway message

There are many teeth cleaning mistakes that gradually damage the health of your mouth and teeth.

We hope that this article managed to introduce the most common mistakes when it comes to teeth brushing; however, if you still have concerns, feel free to contact our dental office.


DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation.  Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.