Finding out that you have tooth decay or gum bleeding because of poor dental hygiene can be quite a surprise, especially for people who brush their teeth on a regular basis.

However, and as experts point out, it is not enough to brush your teeth frequently; you also need to do it properly and avoid common mistakes.

In this article, we will briefly discuss some of the most common teeth cleaning mistakes that people make. This will give you the insight to avoid them in the future.

Common teeth cleaning mistakes

You are using the wrong toothbrush

In the world of dentistry, there are two main types of toothbrushes:

  • The regular (i.e., manual) toothbrush
  • The electric toothbrush

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a toothbrush, you need to make sure that it can access the entirety of your mouth. You also need to check that the bristles are soft and don’t wear off quickly.

Unfortunately, the manual toothbrush lacks in this field since it only allows for anterior (i.e., front access), whereas the back of the mouth will be poorly covered.

Conversely, electric toothbrushes can reach every part of your mouth and can tell you when you’re pressing too hard on the teeth or gum by buzzing or turning a light on.

To complete the list of requirements for the perfect toothbrush, you should aim for smaller sized ones regardless of how old you are. Small toothbrushes offer better access to the entire mouth.

Choosing the wrong toothpaste

Over the years, researchers inspected dozens of toothpaste to see which one is more effective. The results debunked many myths about the superiority of a certain toothpaste.

With that being said, each manufacturer uses different ingredients to develop their toothpaste, which creates diversity in the targeted audience.

For example, people who deal with chronic enamel abrasion could benefit from toothpaste that contains large amounts of calcium and fluoride. Others may want to whiten their teeth and find certain toothpaste to be effective.

The bottom line is to choose the toothpaste based on your individual needs and not because it appeared on many ads.

To remove the confusion from this matter, try to consult with your dental hygienist to choose the best product for you.

Flossing your teeth the wrong way

Flossing should be part of your dental hygiene routine. It allows for the removal of stuck parts of food, plaques, and bacterial biofilms.

All dentists advocate for the use of flossing since toothbrushes cannot possibly remove all the deposits between the teeth.

Now that you know about the importance of flossing, you need to learn how to do it properly. By far, the most common mistake that people make when flossing is focusing too much on the front side of the teeth. Therefore, you need to place more emphasis on the posterior (i.e., back) side of your teeth, as they’re more susceptible to decay.

Brushing too fast

According to a 2017 study, you should brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes to completely get rid of all pathogens and food debris.

The study also emphasizes the importance of the frequent brushing of your teeth since bacteria tend to overgrow after each meal.

This timeline is by no means met, as the Academy of General Dentistry reports that the average person brushes their teeth for only 45–70 seconds per day.

Rinsing your mouth after brushing

In general, toothpaste contains enamel-protective compounds that prevent tooth decay and optimize the health of your oral cavity. If you rinse your mouth after brushing, the majority of these compounds will be lost, which leaves your teeth and mouth exposed to the external environment.

Instead, try to opt for spitting the water. This will allow you to keep the toothpaste inside your mouth for a prolonged time to protect it against harmful bacteria.

Note that this is extremely important during the night since bacteria often start to grow when you’re asleep.

Bad time for brushing

Foods with low pH (e.g., acids foods) can directly damage your teeth and gum. Fortunately, the saliva provides a layer of protection that prevents this process from occurring.

However, if you brush your teeth shortly after eating a meal, you will leave your mouth exposed to the acidic environment without the protection of the saliva.

Dental hygienists recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, as it will allow the glands to secrete more saliva into the oral cavity.

For those of you who cannot stand the smell/taste of food and have to brush their teeth, you can always opt for rinsing your mouth with water to ease up the smell/taste.

Takeaway message

When brushing your teeth, you are subject to several mistakes that could negatively impact the health of your teeth and predispose you to gingival (i.e., gum) diseases.

The goal of this article was to introduce some of these common mistakes to help you avoid them in the future.

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.