Three Critical Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Are Probably Making

Brushing your teeth is an act so mundane that few people ever stop to consider the details of this vital component to good oral health. Brushing your teeth is indeed one of the most important things you do every day, and arguably the most common thing we all do each and every day that has a direct benefit on our health and well-being. 

Most people simply load their brush up and give their teeth a half-hearted once over, unaware that there is a right and wrong way to go about tooth brushing. Here are 3 common mistakes people make when it comes to keeping their teeth pearly white.

Brushing at the Wrong Time of Day

Lots of people like to wake up and immediately freshen their breath with a good tooth brushing. However, if you eat breakfast or even have a morning cup of coffee, you definitely want to wait to brush until after you’ve eaten or had something to drink. Similarly, toothpaste (or mouthwash) should be the last thing that touches your teeth before going to bed at night. During sleep, bacteria have a chance to thrive in the right conditions. By making brushing the last thing you do, you seriously hinder bacterial growth. 

Not Brushing Long Enough

The official tooth brushing recommendation from the ADA is twice a day for two minutes. Two minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but very few people actually brush this long. Put another way, you should brush each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds. 

Not Brushing Your Tongue

Tongue brushing is foreign to many people, but it should absolutely be part of your routine. The tongue contains thousands of tiny crevices where bacteria can hide. Even though these bacteria may not be directly on the teeth, they can still roam around the mouth and lead to decay. An added obvious bonus of brushing your tongue every day is much fresher breath. 

By preventing these 3 common mistakes, you can make your tooth brushing much more effective and your dental visits much easier. 

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Melina has written for several journals and is a non practicing dentist.

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