13 Signs You Don’t Know How to Brush Your Teeth Correctly

Here’s the sad truth – even those who claim they brush their teeth two times a day as recommended by dentists aren’t necessarily brushing their teeth the right way. Unless you have been taught by your Houston dentist how to brush your teeth correctly, there is a big possibility you are not doing a good enough job of protecting your teeth from fillings and other dental problems.
1. You use the wrong kind of toothbrush.
Your toothbrush should have soft bristles. Too often, people think they need hard bristles to clean the plaque off their teeth, but this is incorrect. Soft bristles are able to bend and get to places that hard bristles can’t. Plus, they are gentler on the enamel of your teeth. It doesn’t matter whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush – as long as it has soft bristles and you actually use it as you should.
2. Your brush too hard.
Like the previous note, some people mistakenly believe brushing their teeth with a lot of vigor is necessary. This will hurt the enamel and can harm your gums. Lighten up when you brush!
3. You don’t brush for long enough.
Dental experts recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. But, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), “Most of us fall short —the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds.” Yikes! Here are some different tricks to try to brush your teeth for the full two minutes:
• Set a timer.
• Brush your teeth for the duration of a song.
• Invest in an electric toothbrush that times your brushing.
4. You use the wrong brushing technique.
Most people mistakenly believe they should brush their teeth by going back and forth across their teeth. This isn’t the proper technique. You really should be using an up and down technique beginning at the gum and moving down.
5. You miss the gum line.
Another common mistake that people make while brushing their teeth is neglecting the gum line. People tend to focus just on the teeth, but it is just as important to brush along the gum line. As mentioned above, you can avoid this mistake by using the right brushing technique that starts at the gum line and moves down.
6. You neglect the full oral care routine.
There are many people who do a good job of maintaining a twice-daily toothbrush habit but still fail to follow up with other necessary oral care practices, such as flossing and using mouthwash. You should add both of these practices to your oral care routine in the morning or evening.
7. You use way too much toothpaste.
Typically, people take their toothpaste and run it all the way along their toothbrush head in a long, straight line. If you do this technique, you are using way too much toothpaste! Instead, your local Houston dentist recommends using only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush. Any more than that is just a waste.
8. You rinse your mouth with water after brushing.
This one may be a bit of a surprise – even to those who are toothbrushing pros. One poll by the Oral Health Foundation found “almost two in three (62%) of us rinse our mouth with water after brushing our teeth, which actually makes us more prone to developing tooth decay.” Instead, we should spit, not rinse. The reason dentists don’t recommend rinsing after brushing your teeth is because you rinse away the fluoride.
9. Your toothbrush is old.
How old is your toothbrush? If it is older than 3 or 4 months, it is time to toss it and get a new one. There are a couple of reasons why. First, over time the bristles become worn and are no longer as effective. Second, you don’t want to risk bacteria growing.
10. You brush your teeth right after eating.
Another surprise for those who love their toothbrush – you should not brush your teeth right after eating or drinking. If you brush your teeth too soon after eating something acidic, you risk even more damage to the enamel. Instead, choose to drink water or ADA approved chew sugarless gum.
11. You don’t store your toothbrush the right way.
First, you should only store your toothbrush in a case, such as a travel case, while you are traveling. Keeping your toothbrush in a closed container is an invitation for microbial growth and germs. Next, it is important to store your toothbrush with the head up so that it can air dry.
12. You don’t look in the mirror.
Our lives keep getting busier, so people are more inclined to multitask. Ut, you shouldn’t multitask while you are brushing your teeth. No more scrolling through social media or adding things to your calendar while you brush your teeth. This is because you need to watch yourself brush your teeth to make sure you are doing a good job (and as this article shows, many of us aren’t).
13. You don’t brush your tongue.
You shouldn’t stop at your teeth. You absolutely need to brush your tongue. As Self explains, “Your tongue is actually one of the biggest sources of bad breath on account of all the microbes and food debris that get stuck on it. Get that gunk off. According to the ADA, studies have shown that just brushing your tongue can reduce bad breath by as much as 70 percent.”
Schedule a Tooth Cleaning in Houston with Greenspoint Dental
Now that you know better, you can do better. Start by scheduling an appointment at our Houston dental practice. Experts recommend getting routine teeth cleaning every six months. During this appointment, we can advise you on how to step up your toothbrushing for better results. We are currently accepting new patients, and we would love to meet you and help you get the smile you deserve. Contact us today to set up an appointment!