Breaking Bad Brushing Habits

Breaking Bad Brushing Habits

Even though most of us have been brushing our teeth since we were old enough to hold a toothbrush, your Sonora family dentist want our patients to understand that it’s easy to make mistakes while brushing. Fortunately, the majority to these mistakes fall into the category of being bad habits that you can easily break if you know what to look for. With that in mind, here are a few common mistakes many of us make while brushing.

Using the Wrong Toothbrush

While the toothbrush you pick up from the store might seem indistinguishable from all the rest on the shelf, selecting the wrong brush can make a difference.

What separates a good toothbrush from a bad is the flexibility and texture of its bristles. Toothbrushes that feature hard or inflexible bristles can actually damage tooth enamel as you brush. Think of it as the difference between scrubbing your counter using a brush or a piece of steel wool. While both with remove stains, one will leave your counter looking scratched and worn down.

Not only doe softer bristles represent less of a danger to your tooth enamel, they also clean your teeth more effective than harder bristles. Increased flexibility allows these bristles to move around the surface of your teeth and along the gum line more easily when compared to other types of toothbrushes.

It can be difficult to know what kind of bristles a toothbrush features just by looking at it, so be sure to read the packaging and never buy a brush that doesn’t contain that American Dental Association’s seal of approval.


Brushing daily helps to remove food and plaque from the surface of your teeth, thereby lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. While brushing daily should be a lifelong habit we all practice, you can overdo it by brushing too hard.

Over-brushing occurs by scrubbing your teeth too vigorously. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth isn’t like attack the grout around your bath tub, the harder you scrub doesn’t necessarily mean the cleaner your teeth become.

Plaque is a soft and loose material, meaning you don’t have to brush hard to remove it from the surface of your teeth. Moderate force is all that’s required to keep your teeth looking bright and healthy. If you want to ensure your teeth stay looking their best, focus more on your brushing technique.

Not Brushing for Long Enough

For most of us, brushing is a necessary evil – something we only do because we have to. Unfortunately, our teeth contain a lot of small crevices that can be hard to clean properly if we don’t take enough time.

The ADA recommends spending at least two minutes brushing each time you brush. This provide plenty of time to clean the front, back, and sides of your teeth to enjoy the benefits of a cleaner mouth. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the average person spends on 30 seconds brushing a day! That’s just a quarter of the recommended time.

Can you image the results of only spending 30 seconds shaving, applying makeup, or showering each day? Needless to say the shaggy, streaky, and smelly results you’d get might cause you to reconsider how much time each of these habits require to do right.

Brushing is no different.

Not Changing Your Brush Frequently Enough

While your toothbrush ranks as the best tool you can use to protect your long-term oral health, even the most effective tools eventually wear out.

The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush once every three months, or sooner if you noticed the bristles have started to wear out.

When the bristles of your toothbrush begin to break and fray, they no longer have the ability to properly clean your teeth. Fortunately, you can avoid this simple mistake by remembering to buy a new brush once every few months.


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