Every year, millions of people visit dental clinics, complaining about having stains on their teeth, or developing decays despite the efforts to clean their teeth meticulously.

The vast majority of these cases are due to common mistakes we tend to make when we clean our teeth. Unfortunately, many of these mistakes go unnoticed since they’re too subtle or seem too insignificant to cause any serious damage.

In this article, we will share some of these mistakes to learn how to avoid them in the future.

1.     Brushing too fast

To properly brush your teeth, experts recommend doing it for at least 2 full minutes. Anything less than that, and you’re bound to leave food debris and bacterial colonies in your mouth.

Additionally, and instead of focusing on brushing your teeth just before bed, you should also do it an additional 1–2 times, especially after meals.

This mistake might sound too intuitive at first; however, experts from the Academy of General Dentistry state the average person only brushes their teeth for 45–70 seconds per day. This number accounts for 24 hours of teeth brushing. In other words, if one individual brushes his/her teeth twice or thrice a day, the duration will get further shortened.

You are probably thinking that it’s too difficult to know exactly how long have you been brushing your teeth.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • If you are using a regular toothbrush, you can use your phone or any other clock to measure the time.
  • If you are using an electric toothbrush, it usually buzzes every 30 seconds of use, which means you need to brush your teeth through at least 4 buzzes.

2.     Rinsing your mouth after brushing

As a reflex, most people rinse their mouths after brushing. It seems like the right thing to do, correct?

Unfortunately, rinsing your mouth means you’ll get rid of most of the protective properties found in the toothpaste. Differently put, you’ll clean your teeth momentarily but allow the bacteria and degrading enzymes to prosper during the rest of the time.

The primary compound that protects the teeth from decay is fluoride, which is found in most toothpastes. To maintain adequate levels of fluoride after brushing your teeth, you should learn how to spit the water instead of rinsing it.

Switching from rinsing to spitting might take a while since you’ve been doing this bad habit for years. However, after a couple of weeks, it will become second nature.

3.     Choosing the wrong toothpaste

Every toothpaste on the market claims to be the best with many secretive ingredients that make it superior to other products.

In reality, there is no one best toothpaste; the only difference between the products available on the market is the ingredients put in them.

By modifying the concentration and ratio of these ingredients, you can target a different market group, depending on the chief complaint. For instance, some people have sensitive teeth to cold or hot temperatures. To solve this issue, certain toothpastes contain large amounts of fluoride that help strengthen the enamel and restore their structural integrity.

Before making a drastic change about the type of toothpaste you’re using, you may want to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist.

4.     Bad time for brushing

According to researchers, when you eat a meal, it is best to wait 30 minutes before brushing teeth.

The reason is that saliva protects the oral cavity from outside aggressors, such as acids (e.g., lemon juice). If you brush your teeth shortly after a meal, you’ll expose your mouth by removing the protection.

For this reason, you should wait for 30 minutes, which is the period of time estimated for the saliva to recover. If you find the smell of food in your mouth too inconvenient, you can rinse your mouth with water, which will temper down the smell until you’re ready to brush.

5.     Going too hard on your teeth

While pressing on the toothbrush might seem like a good idea to get rid of the food debris and make your teeth look whiter, it often leads to the process of wear and tear. As a result, you will start experiencing gum bleeding and tooth decay.

Because this mistake is so common, manufacturers of electric toothbrushes added a feature to their products, where you’ll get notified when you’re pressing too hard on your teeth or gum.

According to dental hygiene experts, you should brush your teeth at a slight angle and focusing on each individual tooth. Researchers also reported that the generic side-to-side scrubbing is not the most effective way to brush your teeth.

Takeaway message

Surveys around the world found that millions of people make the same mistakes when it comes to dental hygiene. Therefore, it is crucial to stop falling into the same pitfalls over and over again.

Hopefully, this article will serve as your mini-guideline to prevent you from making similar mistakes in the future.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our dental office today.


DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation.  Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.