Mistakes That People Make When Brushing Their Teeth

Brushing your teeth is an important part of your oral hygiene regimen. However, the practice can actually be damaging to your teeth if it is not done correctly.

Here are a few common mistakes that many people make when brushing their teeth.

Using Hard Bristles

When it comes to cleaning, it seems logical that harder bristles would perform a more thorough job. However, with teeth, that is not the case. 

Although tooth enamel is extremely hard, it can erode if stiff bristles are used regularly during brushing sessions. It is best to brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The teeth are effectively cleaned and the enamel is kept intact with soft bristles.

Brushing Less Than Two Minutes

You should brush your teeth twice a day, and each brushing session should last for at least two minutes. In the rush to get ready for their day or for bed, many people neglect to hit the two-minute mark.

To ensure that you brush as long as recommended, try dividing your oral cavity into fourths. Brush each quadrant while mentally counting to 30. Then move on to the next quadrant. 


It is actually possible to brush too often. Brushing twice daily is recommended, but brushing after every meal and snack is likely too much. The continual mechanical cleaning can irritate the gums and erode the tooth enamel. 

In addition, enamel erosion is exacerbated if the teeth are brushed too soon after consuming acidic substances. If you do eat or drink something that has a low pH, it is best to wait at least a half hour or so before brushing your teeth to ensure that the enamel is no longer in a softened state.

Using the Wrong Toothpaste

Toothpaste is recommended for brushing your teeth. However, the wrong paste can harm your teeth.

A whitening toothpaste may be too abrasive for the tooth enamel due to the polishers included in the product. It is best to opt for a regular fluoride toothpaste. Pastes designed to lessen the symptoms of dental sensitivity should also be fine. 

Replacing a Toothbrush Too Infrequently

A toothbrush should be replaced every few months. Over time, the bristles become damaged, making them less effective at cleaning the teeth. In addition, frayed, jagged bristles can harm the sensitive tissues of the mouth. 

If a couple of months have transpired since you purchased your last toothbrush or if the brush bristles appear worn, it's time for a new brush.

For more information about properly brushing your teeth, schedule a consultation with a dentist, like one from Brookside Dental Associate, in your local area.