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Brushing teeth each day as part of your dental care routine seems like an easy task.  However, we often do not brush our teeth as well as we are able.  Here are some common mistakes that are made when brushing teeth, and some suggestions for ways to fix them.

You choose the wrong toothbrush.

The most important consideration when picking a toothbrush is the bristles that remove the bacteria and loosen plaque from your teeth and gums. People sometimes mistakenly choose hard bristles thinking it will more effectively clean their teeth and remove plaque. In actuality, soft bristles clean very thoroughly, more than hard bristles.  The hard bristles can actually wear down your teeth.

You don’t clean your teeth at the best time of the day.

Night time is when you need to make sure you do a thorough job, including brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.  When you are sleeping at night this is the longest time that bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease.  It is important to stir up the bacteria every day to make them less productive and dangerous to your oral health.  Always make sure to brush your teeth after breakfast each day, since sometimes we make the mistake of only doing so when we wake up and before we eat.

You rush and don’t brush all areas of the mouth.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, says the American Dental Association. Take the time to reach all areas of your mouth, including behind the teeth and the tongue (it can improve your breath as well!).

You don’t take the time to learn how to use proper technique.

Many people do not take the time to learn how to brush or floss their teeth properly. A common mistake is brushing your teeth too hard, which can actually cause your teeth harm.  Plaque is soft and loose, so you do not have to scrub your teeth and gums. Another common mistake is brushing left to right, rather than going up and down in a circular motion. And don’t forget to brush the gum line since bacteria loves to hang out where the tooth meets your gums.

You hold on to your toothbrush too long.

Replacing your toothbrush every few months is a good rule to help you do the best job in maintaining good oral hygiene. The bristles will often become worn down within two or three months, making it less effective. Remember to change out your toothbrush if you have been sick too, since your toothbrush can harbor bacteria and viruses and potentially re-infect you.


Dr. Melchers and his staff are here to help address any of your dental health issues and decide the best course of treatment for their patients.  Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.