6 Common Toothbrushing Mistakes


Chances are, you’ve been brushing your teeth for most of your life. Still, you might have picked up some bad habits along the way that you might not even be aware of. Brushing your teeth is a vital practice for your dental health, so it’s important to get it right. Here are six common mistakes and what you can do to fix them.

Using the Wrong Toothbrush

Right off the bat, good brushing starts by choosing the right brush. Brushes with hard bristles can damage your enamel and fail to clean under your gums, while a brush with too large a head for your mouth can hinder your ability to clean all the surfaces of your teeth. Choose a brush with soft, flexible bristles that’s the right size to fit in all the spaces of your mouth.

Brushing for Under Two Minutes

If you’re guilty of this habit, you’re not alone. Most people don’t brush for the full two minutes recommended by your dentist in Burke, VA. In fact, the average amount of time people spend brushing is a scant 45 seconds. If you’re having trouble making the two minute mark, try setting a timer on your phone or humming your favorite tune (the first verse, chorus and second verse should be around two minutes long).

Brushing Too Hard

Look at your toothbrush. Is it flattened? Does it look like you chew on it? You’re probably brushing too hard. A heavy hand while brushing doesn’t actually clean your teeth any better, and can cause damage to your enamel and your gums. Remember when you’re brushing that the bristles should not bend to any large degree.

Not Brushing Your Tongue

Yes, you should brush your tongue! Think of your tongue as the carpet of your mouth. You wouldn’t clean a room and not clean the carpet, would you? Your tongue gathers bacteria, and can cause bad breath. You can clean it by brushing it, using a tongue scraper, or using the harder surface on the back of many toothbrush heads.

Forgetting the Back of your Teeth

Many people concentrate on the fronts of their teeth and the chewing surfaces, but neglect to brush the backs of their teeth. This will increase your chances of cavities and gum problems, so remember to brush all the dental surfaces in your mouth.

Toothbrush Replacement

Most people hang onto their toothbrush for way longer than they should. Remember, with every brush, your toothbrush collects more and more bacteria and food particles. Your dentist in Burke, VA recommends replacing it every two to three months.

Brushing is the best thing you can do for your dental health. If you watch out for these common mistakes, you can get the maximum benefit out of brushing to keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright!

If you have any questions about toothbrush care, or would like to schedule an appointment, please give the office a call at 703-459-9495.

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