Common brushing mistakes and corrections

We brush our teeth every day. It’s a habit, a routine, a day and night ritual. But how do you know if you’re brushing your teeth effectively? Despite good intentions, many of us make common mistakes that can compromise our oral health.  

Here are some common brushing mistakes and corrections to ensure a healthy, happy smile! 

  1. Rushing Through Brushing: Take your time! On average, most people only brush their teeth for 45 to 70 seconds a day. Proper brushing should last at least two minutes in the morning and night to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove plaque.

Correction: Set a timer or use a toothbrush with a timer to ensure you’re brushing for the recommended duration. 

2)   Using Too Much Pressure: Aggressive brushing can damage enamel and irritate gums over time. If your toothbrush has fraying bristles, this may be a sign that you’re using too much pressure when brushing your teeth. 

Correction: Use a light grip and gentle, circular motions. Let the bristles do the work.

3)  Neglecting Inner Tooth Surfaces: It’s easy to remember the fronts of our teeth when brushing, but it’s important to not forgot the backs! Those inner surfaces of your teeth are where plaque can accumulate unnoticed.

Correction: Angle your toothbrush and use gentle strokes to clean these areas effectively.

4)  Skipping Flossing: Only 30% of Americans floss at least once a day. However, flossing your teeth regularly is just as important as brushing your teeth! Flossing is essential for removing debris between teeth.

Correction: Make flossing a daily habit, ideally before brushing.

5)  Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Regularly: Old toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and become less effective. If you continue using an old toothbrush, it can harbor bacteria and cause dental infections or other health concerns. 

Correction: Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles appear worn. 

By avoiding these common mistakes and following these simple corrections, you can maintain a healthy smile. Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist for personalized oral care recommendations.  

If it’s been a while, schedule an appointment with Jackson Dental today by calling (573) 243-5200 or stopping by our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.