If You’re Doing One of These 10 Things, You’re Brushing Your Teeth the Wrong Way

Woman brushing teeth

Woman brushing teeth | iStock.com/gpointstudio

We’d all like to think that we know what we’re doing when it comes to brushing our teeth. I mean, we’ve been doing it for years and have been to the dentist enough times to hear their feedback, but the truth is, most of us are making mistakes when we brush.

Normally, those mistakes just mean that brushing isn’t as effective as it would be if we were doing things the right way, but some mistakes are actually doing harm to our teeth and mouth. So check out these 10 bad brushing habits and turn things around while you still have your teeth.

You Ignore Your Tongue

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Don’t ignore your tongue. New bacteria constantly shows up there because of the ridges, and it spreads all over, harming your mouth. Spend a good 15-20 seconds working the brush on your tongue every time. It also kills the stuff that causes bad breath.

You Use The Wrong Toothpaste

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We all want white teeth, but using those whitening toothpastes all the time causes too much damage to our teeth. Rather, you should use a regular ole’ fluoride toothpaste unless you’ve been instructed otherwise.

You Brush After You’ve Just Eaten

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If you brush too soon after you eat, you won’t give your mouth and saliva time to do its job, which means that stuff can remain and eat at your enamel even after brushing. So wait at least 30 minutes.

You’re Not Brushing in the Right Direction

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Sure, side-to-side seems the most natural, but the experts at the ADA all agree that short up-and-down bursts is the way to do it. As if that wasn’t a big enough adjustment, you should hold the brush at a 45-degree angle while you do it.

You Don’t Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

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A dirty toothbrush probably works as well as a clean toothbrush in cleaning your mouth, but it can also rub bacteria and other unwelcome stuff all over the inside of your mouth. Don’t let the bristles sit in still water, and keep it out of sight to guarantee it stays as clean as possible.

You Brush Too Hard

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You would think the harder, the better, right? Nope. Brushing too hard certainly does get the bad stuff loose, but it also can do damage to your mouth, especially on your gumline. So take it easy, but not TOO easy.

You Brush Too Soft

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That’s right, Goldilocks. You’re gonna need to brush jussssst right. If you brush too soft, you’re not going to scrape the dirt off, but it’s a fine line. If you’re not sure, brush in front of your dentist the next time you go. They can tell immediately.

You Brush Too Frequently

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Never heard this one before, have you? The more you brush, the less effective it is, so twice per day should be fine. Much more than that and you’ll actually start to do damage to your gums and your mouth will dry out from all that toothpaste.

You Don’t Store Your Brush Properly

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If you leave your brush out on the counter, it’s easy to reach, but there’s a downside. All the weird stuff floating around your bathroom can find its way onto it. That includes particles that spew out of the toilet when you flush. It probably won’t hurt you in the long run, but that doesn’t mean it’s not totally gross.

You Use an Old Toothbrush

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The ADA suggests a new one every 3-4 months, and you should believe them. Using an old toothbrush is way less effective. The bristles aren’t firm enough to get into tiny places so the cleaning suffers.