When it comes to brushing your teeth, there isn’t a lot of room for error. (Apply toothpaste to brush, scrub teeth, rinse, spit, rinse, spit – not a complicated process, people.) And yet, despite how arguably difficult it is to not brush your teeth successfully, there are a few common mistakes that might be standing in the way of you declaring your oral hygiene game spotless (no pun intended). Here, a few of the mistakes that you might be making when you brush your teeth.
You’re brushing your teeth too hard.
It would seem to make sense that brushing your teeth with more force or rigor would lead to cleaner pearly whites, but that’s not exactly the case. In fact, brushing your teeth gently manages to achieve the same level of clean, more or less, as brushing your teeth with more pressure. More importantly, being gentler on your teeth means that you don’t risk damaging your gums in pursuit of a spotless smile.
You’re brushing your teeth right after you eat.
You might think you’re being super diligent by brushing your teeth right after you finish your meal, but you might actually be doing your teeth more harm than good. When you brush your teeth too quickly after finishing food, you could end up just moving around dirt (or worse, acid, if you’ve had some acidic foods like lemon) in your mouth and on your teeth. Instead of hopping right to it after your last bite, save brushing for about an hour after you’re done eating. (And maybe sip some water in that time to help pre-clean your teeth, too.)
You’re not using a great technique.
Yes, there is such a thing as bad technique when it comes to brushing your teeth, and there’s a big chance that you’re using it. To master your brushing technique, start by putting your brush at a 45-degree angle and moving the brush gently back and forth. From there, move onto the outer then the inner surfaces of your teeth. To finish up, brush the front of your teeth by holding your brush vertically and stroking your teeth up and down.
You leave your toothbrush on your sink.
It should come as no surprise that your bathroom is something of a breeding ground for germs. And because every time you, say, flush your toilet, you spray toilet germs into the bathroom air, it can be kind of gross to think of that air coming in contact with your toothbrush on the sink. To keep your brush safe from general bathroom germs, consider storing it somewhere other than directly in your bathroom, like in the medicine cabinet or on your nightstand.