As non-dental professionals, most people are clueless about the use of the age-old invention, the toothbrush. We don’t give it much thought either. Just smear on some toothpaste, scrub back and forth and rush to work. Did you know that brushing wrong may be one of the primary reasons for your dental problems! 

Here are the 8 common mistakes we all have made at some point while using a toothbrush.

1. Not Changing Them Often

Using the same toothbrush for months on end is no good. With time, the brush wears, the bristles fray and harboured bacteria increase. Remember to change your toothbrush once every 3 months for maximum efficacy.

2. Brushing for less time

Some of us are guilty of rushing through the toothbrushing routine, and then there are others who brush every day like they’ve never brushed before. The optimum time for brushing teeth is around 2 minutes. Too little time and teeth are cleaned incompletely, too much and you may damage your teeth and gums.

3. Storing your toothbrush in the bathroom

Research has found that toothbrushes stored in the bathroom harbour flecks of faeces! If that doesn’t disgust you already, a bathroom toothbrush is found to be a reservoir of innumerable bacterial species. It is best to keep brushes outside the loo or store them in closed cabinets if inside.

4. Not Flossing

Flossing removes the plaque between the teeth which toothbrushes are incapable of. Using dental floss as an adjunct to toothbrushing will work wonders to keep your teeth shiny and gums healthy.

5. Ignoring tongue cleaning

The uneven surface of the tongue contains more food debris and bacterial colonies than anywhere else in the mouth. Most toothbrush heads have ridges and grooves at the back to act as tongue cleaners. Cleaning the tongue while brushing teeth removes up to 80% more bacteria and gives you a fresh clean breath. 

6. Using a hard/ medium toothbrush

As a rule, every human being irrespective of their age or gender should be using soft or ultrasoft toothbrushes. Hard/ medium brushes wear away the enamel surface and lacerate the gums which will ultimately lead to cervical abrasions and gum recession.

7. Brushing back n forth

Scrubbing or brushing back and forth is considered to be the worst technique of toothbrushing. Experts recommend brushing gently in circles with bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gums for maximum efficacy in plaque removal.

8. Brushing more than twice

Dentists recommend brushing two times daily for best results. More than twice is not reported to be beneficial but may actually cause harm in the long run.

So if you are guilty of following one or more of the above practices, ditch them today and your teeth will thank you tomorrow! :)