Mistakes We All Make When Brushing Our Teeth

By Nick Hadji 7 months ago

1. Brushing side to side? It's causing serious damage

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Horizontal scrubbing is so last decade. The magic motion? Small circular swirls. It's all about grace and finesse, not a rushed tug of war. By adopting the circular technique, you're ensuring a thorough, gum-friendly clean. Rotate, don’t reciprocate. Your teeth deserve that dance!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. You NEED to brush your tongue! Here's why...

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The tongue isn't just there to taste your favorite ice cream; it's a haven for bacteria! If you're not giving it a brush, you're letting those sneaky bacteria throw a party. Break up the gathering, brush that tongue, and freshen up the scene. Your breath will thank you, and so will anyone you chat with. Talk about a win-win!

3. This could be making you sick

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Leaving your toothbrush gunky post-brush is a rookie move. Bacteria love a damp, toothpaste-clad environment. Give that brush a good rinse, shake off the excess water, and let it air-dry. It’s basic brush hygiene 101. Treat it right, and it'll do the same for your teeth!

4. STOP! Do not brush after eating!

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If your routine is to eat, then brush immediately, it's time for a change. Acids from food can soften enamel, and brushing might push these deeper. Let saliva neutralize things first. A 30-minute waiting game post-meal can be a game-changer for your teeth's longevity.

5. Not Actually Looking At Your Teeth While You Brush

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Brushing your teeth is a great opportunity to take a look inside your mouth and just check that everything looks okay! If you're not actually looking beyond the first few teeth you have at the front, you might miss any issues, like a crack you didn't know was there, a gum that looks suspiciously red, or a bit of food your floss unfortunately missed!

6. Sharing A Toothbrush (Ew)

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Under no circumstances should you ever be sharing a toothbrush - period. Even if it's your partner who you play tonsil tennis with every other day, you still shouldn't be sharing their toothbrush, even if it's just for one night that you've stopped over. It's unhygienic, to say the least!

7. Fluoride Faux Pas

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Thinking any toothpaste will do the trick? Think again! Fluoride is the superstar that fights cavities and strengthens enamel. Without it, brushing is like trying to catch fish with bare hands. Slippery and not very effective. So, next time you're in the toothpaste aisle, make sure fluoride is on the guest list.

8. Not too much pressure

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Powering through isn't the mantra when it comes to brushing. Hard brushing can lead to gum recession and enamel wear. Remember, it's not about force, but technique. Switch from the "Hulk smash" mode to a "gentle caress" for your pearly whites. Let's not turn this into a pressure cooker situation!

9. Starting Line Stumble

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Always kicking off your brushing routine at the same spot? Mix it up! By varying your brushing starting point, you ensure no area becomes an afterthought and helps with even brushing throughout. Different day, different way. Variety is the spice of life and the key to a complete clean!

10. Bristle Bungle

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Hard bristles might sound like they'd give a good scrub, but in tooth-talk, they're more like sandpaper. Soft bristles adapt to the contours of your teeth and gum line, cleaning effectively without the damage. Time to ditch the harsh scrub and embrace the gentle touch!

11. Bathroom Blunder

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Storing that toothbrush out in the open? Yikes! Bathrooms can be a bacteria hotspot, especially if the toothbrush is near the toilet. Aerosolized particles from flushing? No, thank you! Invest in a cover or a holder and place it in a less exposed spot. Guard your brush like it's a golden ticket—because for your teeth, it is!

12. Eager Beaver Brushing

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Chomped on some citrus or sipped some soda? Hold your horses before brushing! Acidic foods soften enamel temporarily. Brushing immediately can be abrasive. Wait about 30 minutes. Let your saliva do its neutralizing thing. Patience isn't just a virtue; it's a tooth-saver!

13. Paste Pile-Up

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Giant globs of toothpaste won't get you cleaner teeth, just a messier sink. A pea-sized amount is all the magic potion you need. Let’s avoid the overflow and stick to the essentials. More isn't always merrier, especially in the toothpaste game.

14. Inner Sanctum Neglect

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The insides of our teeth—oh, those hidden havens! Just because they're out of sight shouldn't mean they're out of mind. They crave attention just as much as the front stage. Dive into those inner realms, brush them with care, and make sure they're not left in the dental dark.

15. Gum Line Lapse

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Your gums: the unsung heroes holding the fort. Ignoring the gum line is like forgetting the foundation of your house. Plaque loves to creep in there, leading to gum disease. Angle your brush at 45 degrees and give your gums the love they deserve. Respect the base, and you're ace!

16. 45-Degree Dream

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Speaking of angles, are you in on the 45-degree secret? It's the sweet spot! Holding the brush at this angle helps tackle the sneaky plaque hiding below the gum line. Think of it as the perfect slant for a perfect clean. Geometry isn’t just for math class—it’s the key to a pristine brush session.

17. Electric Excitement

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Manual can be dandy, but have you felt the electric buzz? Electric toothbrushes can offer consistent pressure and rotations, often leading to a more thorough clean. It's like upgrading from a bicycle to a motorbike. Zoom through your dental routine with some electric enthusiasm!

18. Bedtime Brush-Off

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Neglecting your night brush? Big oops! Saliva, our natural mouthwash, reduces its flow at night. This means bacteria can throw a real rager without interruption. Don’t let them have the final say! Engage in a two-minute brushing session before you hit the sack, ensuring a cleaner mouth environment as you catch those Z's.

19. Holder Hygiene Hiccup

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Your toothbrush holder is a silent spectator to all your dental routines. But it can accumulate debris and bacteria. Weekly cleaning is recommended. So, while you're brushing those pearly whites, don’t forget the throne they rest on. A clean holder reduces the risk of transferring unwanted germs back onto your brush.

20. Mouthwash Muddle

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If you immediately swish mouthwash after brushing, it's time for a rethink. This practice can diminish the effectiveness of the fluoride in your toothpaste. Instead, wait at least thirty minutes post-brushing before indulging in your mouthwash. Enjoy the full benefits of your toothpaste first, then relish the refreshing sensation of your rinse.

21. Brush-Time Blues

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Clinging onto that old toothbrush is like wearing worn-out shoes – ineffective and potentially harmful. After 3-4 months, those bristles aren't cleaning; they're just going through the motions. Rotate in a fresh brush to ensure you're always getting the best clean. Out with the old, in with the new!

22. Share & Scare

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Handing your toothbrush to someone? Full stop! This can introduce new bacteria and germs. Your oral flora is unique to you. Swapping brushes can be a one-way ticket to unwanted dental issues. Privacy matters, especially in dental care. Stick to your own!

23. Water Jet Joy

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Oral irrigators or water flossers are fabulous allies. They reach recesses that even diligent brushing might miss, especially between teeth and under the gumline. While not a replacement for brushing or flossing, they offer an added layer of cleanliness. It’s the dental jet age, and your teeth are ready to fly!

24. Flossing Flub

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Neglecting to floss is a rookie mistake. Think of floss as the undercover agent uncovering hidden debris. It reaches between teeth where brushes can’t, ensuring no plaque remains. Partner it with brushing, and you’ve got a dynamic duo fighting for your oral health.

25. Bleeding Gums Beware

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Occasional gum bleeding can be due to over-enthusiastic brushing. But if it's regular, your gums are raising a red flag. This can hint at conditions like gingivitis. So, if the sink looks pink consistently post-brush, book a dental appointment. Better safe than sorry!

26. Checkup Check-In

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Yearly dental check-ups aren't just formalities. They’re essential even for the most diligent brushers. Dentists spot potential problems early on. From cavities to gum health, their trained eyes and advanced tools can catch what our bathroom mirrors can't. A check-up can be your dental insurance against future complications.

27. Toothpaste Time-Travel

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Ancient toothpaste tube lurking in the cabinet? Toss it! Ingredients can degrade over time. Using fresh toothpaste ensures you’re getting all its benefits. It’s not just about taste, but efficacy. If it's past its prime, it’s time to replace.

28. Mindful Mouth Moves

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Mind wandering while brushing? Bring it back! Mindful brushing ensures every tooth gets attention. When we're present, we apply better technique, pressure, and coverage. Your teeth deserve that full focus. So, during those two minutes, let the world wait. Your dental health is on the line!

29. Prewet Perfection

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Starting with a bone-dry brush can be abrasive. A gentle pre-wetting primes it for the toothpaste, ensuring even coverage and a smoother glide. Those initial few seconds of prepping can make the entire experience more efficient. Water it down a tad to rev it up a ton!

30. Dietary Dentistry

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Brushing is half the equation. What we consume plays a huge role in our oral health. Sugary snacks, acidic beverages—they can be enamel’s nemesis. Balance your dental care regimen with mindful eating. Your teeth don’t just crave a good brush, but also the right munch!

31. Not Using Mouthwash At All

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Mouthwash can be just as important as floss, and while it's important to never mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth, this doesn't mean forgetting about it altogether and going about your day! The best time to mouthwash can be a lunchtime freshen up between brushes!

32. Not Moving About While Brushing

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It's important not to get distracted while brushing your teeth, but standing still can also be a good exercise opportunity wasted! Especially if you sit down all day, those two minutes at the mirror can be a chance to do some calf raises, left raises or marching on the spot!

33. Eating Straight Away After Brushing

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It's important not to brush your teeth straight away after eating something - especially citrus items - but did you know it's also just as bad to eat straight away afterwards? You might think after brushing out of the way you're ready to go, but you need 30 minutes so the enamel isn't still too soft from brushing.

34. Not Brushing First Thing In The Morning

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Brushing your teeth as soon as you wake up is one of the best things you can do to clear away that night's bacteria, but a lot of people might stumble to the kitchen and grab a coffee or cup of OJ before they've even contemplated brushing their teeth. The best thing to do is march straight to the sink!

35. Not Keeping On Top Of Retainer/Brace Cleaning

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If you use a retainer - whether fixed or removable - or have braces, then teeth cleaning is going to be a more complex job for you. Although it's annoying, taking extra care to brush your braces or retainer - or use a cleaning solution for a removable one - is priority for good dental hygiene!

36. Tips For You Coffee Drinkers!

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We know that first cup of coffee in the morning is heaven - especially if someone brings it to you in bed! But because coffee is acidic, you need to know the best routine for morning drinkers. If you drink coffee first thing, wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. If you brush your teeth straight away, you can have a coffee straight afterwards (though it may taste minty!) whereas with food, you would have to wait 30 minutes.

37. Not Replacing Your Electric Toothbrush Head

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It's very obvious when to replace a manual toothbrush, and it's easily done when you throw one away and pick up another disposable one. With electric toothbrushes, however, a lot of people forget about replacing the head regularly, because it feels much more like a 'long term' item. Don't forget to change your toothbrush head, ideally every 3 months.

38. Forgetting To Charge Your Toothbrush

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Having an electric toothbrush means a deeper clean, but it also comes with its maintenance - which includes having to charge it all the time. One big mistake you can make is forgetting to charge it when it tells you, because you'll come to brush your teeth and it won't switch on. This makes it more likely you'll skip a brush, or not brush properly.

39. ... Or Forgetting To Pack Your Charger!

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Even worse is forgetting to pack your toothbrush charger if you're going on vacation! Sure, you'll likely be able to pick one up somewhere when you arrive at your destination, but brushing your teeth in the meantime is going to be a compromised job - and who wants to worry about a toothbrush while they're trying to enjoy their vacation?

40. Not Having A Manual Toothbrush On Standby

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For the above reasons, it's actually a great idea to have a manual toothbrush as well as an electric. That way, if you do forget to charge your electric one, or you forget the charger, you have a manual one there ready to still brush your teeth properly before you can get back to business electrically!

41. Two-Minute Tango

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Did you know that zipping through your brushing routine means you're skipping over tons of nasty bacteria? The ADA isn't just suggesting – they're emphasizing a solid two-minute brushing session. That's just one short song's worth. Make it count and dance through those full 120 seconds!

42. Leaving It Until Right Before Bed To Brush Your Teeth

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You should definitely be brushing your teeth before you turn in for the night, but one mistake a lot of people make is leaving it until they're already half asleep and ready for bed. If you're struggling to stay awake, you'll likely do a quick brush rather than two minutes, and probably won't pay attention. Do it a little earlier instead when you still have your faculties!

43. Trying To Deep-Clean Your Toothbrush

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Toothbrushes are definitely gross with the amount of bacteria they can harbor, but it can actually be a mistake trying to give them a 'deep clean'. If you try too harshly to clean it, it may damage your brush so it'll end up not cleaning as effectively. As surprising as it may be, a good rinse in normal tap water is all you need to do (as well as letting it dry, and placing upright).

44. Reading Social Media/Influencer Tips

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We all know about the impossible beauty standards on social media, whether it's hair, body or makeup. But the same can actually apply to super straight, shiny white teeth. You might be tempted to listen to an influencer about the best ways to get the best smile, but at the end of the day, only your qualified dentist can tell you that.

45. Full Coverage Fumble

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Let's talk real estate! Every tooth surface is prime property, and skipping any is like leaving rooms dirty in a house. The inner, outer, and chewing surfaces need equal love. It's not just the front and center; it's the nooks and crannies that count. Dive deep, explore all areas, and don’t let any spot miss out on the brush bash!

46. Not Paying Attention To Any Change In Sensation

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Taking care of your teeth is about more than just looking. Brushing is a good opportunity to think about the way your teeth feel. Is a tooth at the back suddenly more sensitive when you put the brush on it? Does it hurt somewhere when you swill out your mouth with water?

47. Storing A Wet Toothbrush In A Closed Travel Case

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Traveling with toiletries makes it difficult to stick to your usual routine, like when you need to immediately pack away soaps and toothbrush after you've used them the morning you're departing. But putting your wet toothbrush straight into a travel case isn't a good idea, because bacteria will love that moist environment.

48. The Problem With Piercings

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Having piercings is about more than taking care of them directly - they can actually negatively impact your dental hygiene. Many people crack teeth from accidentally biting down on tongue or lip piercings, not to mention the constant rubbing can eventually cause problems.

49. Not Wearing Your Retainer Often Enough

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If you have a removable retainer, then it's important to wear it as often as your dentist recommends you to - not wearing it can lead to your teeth shifting again after you've had braces, and it will also mess up your good routine of keeping on top of cleaning it if you can't remember the last time you wore it!

50. Ignoring Signs Of Bruxism

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Bruxism is the name for teeth-grinding, and it can be tricky to pinpoint if you do it in your sleep and have no one to tell you that you do! But telltale signs of bruxism include headaches, sore jaw, worn down/chipped teeth or even changes in face shape over time. If you have any discomfort when you wake up, mention it to your dentist!