1. Not changing your brush enough
The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Not only does this keep the bristle in your brush effective, is also removes potential bacterial build up trapped in the broken down brush. Frayed and broken bristles won’t keep your teeth clean.
2. Rushing to be done
Speed demons, listen up! Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short —the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you’re racing through cleaning, try setting a timer. Or distract yourself by humming your favorite tune!
3. Beating up your teeth
Be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that loves to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that’s needed. Too much pressure may damage your gums. The same goes with your water pik. A too strong setting, can actually cause bleeding and gum damage. Generally speaking never set your water pik higher than a 5 or what your dentist recomments.
4. Brushing right after eating
Who knew! If you feel the need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking, wait at least 60 minutes before brushing—especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda. Just don’t forget to do the deed.
5. Storing your brush Improperly
When you’re done brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow.
6. Using a brush with hard bristles
Soft bristles are the safe bet. Be careful to be gentle, especially where your gums and teeth meet. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you.
7. Improper brushing technique
Try the 1-2-3-4 technique:
- First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
8. Using a brush that's not the best bit for you
There are many toothbrushes that can leave your teeth fresh and clean, including manual and power brushes. Both get the job done. Try different types until you find one you’re comfortable with and one you may actually like to use. For example, a power brush can be easier to hold and does some of the work for you if you have trouble brushing, but has the danger of being too hard.
No matter which you choose remember that it’s not all about the brush—a clean mouth is really up to the brusher!