Written by: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/
Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Often Enough
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so resolve to change your toothbrush every season this year. If you see frayed and broken bristles, these are signs it’s time to let go of the old toothbrush. When you’re shopping, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Not Brushing Long Enough
Your teeth should be brushed twice per day for a full two minutes. The average time most people spend brushing is only 45 seconds.
Brushing Too Hard
Too much pressure may damage your gums, so be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that love to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that’s needed.
Brushing Right After Eating
Wait at least 60 minutes before brushing—especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit, or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help clean your mouth while you are waiting to brush.
Storing Your Brush Improperly
Keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open, when you’re done brushing. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow.
Using a Brush with Hard Bristles
Soft bristles are a safe bet. And be mindful to be gentle, especially where your gums and teeth meet, as you brush. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you.
Improper Brushing Technique
Here’s one technique to try for a thorough brush: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Using a Brush That’s Not the Best Fit for You
Try different types of brushes until you find one you’re comfortable with. For example, a power brush can be easier to hold and does some of the work for you if you have trouble brushing. No matter which you choose remember that it’s not all about the brush—a clean mouth is really up to the brusher!