Enjoy-iCare | Is Brushing Making Your Teeth Worse?

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Monday, December 21, 2015 

under Health

Ever get self-conscious about your breath? Notice people gasping for air after talking to you, or worse, after a bit of smoochy-smooch? It's not exactly news that you need to brush your teeth. But what about how bad brushing technique can actually make things worse?

Easy mistakes in the oral hygiene game can cost you the championship by leading to more cavities, gum disease, and, of course, bad breath. Find out what you're doing wrong and how to break these bad habits for better teeth.

1. You don't brush for long enough.
Most dentists recommend brushing for two or three minutes, but few people ever make it to that. Next time, check your watch to see how long your routine takes. Or try brushing to a two to three minute song to time yourself.

2. You're not watching what you're doing.
Make a point to look in the mirror while you brush your teeth and see where the brush is actually going. It's easy to miss the area right at the gum line, which is the most important part. Two to three minutes goes by fast, too, so make sure you've gotten full coverage when time's up.

3. You're brushing too straight on.
Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the teeth and brush in small circles. Focus on a few teeth at once, then move on to the next set, continuing around from one side to the other, top and bottom, front and back. It's okay to brush in straight lines on the chewing surfaces. After completing your circles, brush away from the gum line, towards your teeth, to clear off loosened plaque and bacteria.

4. You're brushing too hard, for too long
Don't brush like your teeth have been so bad and dirty. You weaken your teeth when you brush too hard and for too long. Brush those bad babies with tender love and care.

5. You're using the wrong brush.
Be sure to buy soft or ultrasoft brushes to minimize damage. Electric toothbrushes are great tools if they help you brush longer and get you to the right places. And remember to get a new toothbrush every three months.

6. Be careful with baking soda paste.
Baking soda toothpastes are good at getting stains out because they are abrasive, but that also means they can weaken your teeth. So don't use it every time you brush your teeth.

7. You're failing at flossing.
Start with a full foot of floss, twirling the ends around the middle finger on each hand. Use your thumb and forefinger to gently work the floss between two teeth, being careful not to pull it roughly or saw it back and forth, both of which can injure the gum. Wrap the floss around one tooth and wipe up and down to loosen and remove plaque. Then do the same on the next tooth and repeat.

8. You don't rinse after.
Effective brushing and flossing unbind bacteria-laden plaque from the surface of teeth. Rinsing afterward is a key step to make sure that bacteria leave your mouth for good. Use mouthwash before and after brushing your teeth to get them even cleaner.


Taking good care of your teeth will not only keep your mouth smelling good and looking pretty, but it will save you a lot of pain, sufferring, and money in the long run. When you're tired and don't feel like brushing and flossing, just think about all those dental bills you can spare yourself!