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6 Toothbrushing Mistakes You're Likely Making


6 Toothbrushing Mistakes You're Likely Making

We’re always thrilled to see patients invested in taking care of the oral health. But there are a few brushing related mistakes that are made quite often - we’re talking every day! A few simple tweaks to your routine may make a big difference, so today we’re sharing these common errors to get to on the right track.

  1. You use the wrong brush
    First and foremost, we recommend ultrasonic toothbrushes. We can guess with pretty great accuracy if someone uses an electric toothbrush - the results are that obvious! An ultrasonic toothbrush is one that uses a very high frequency of vibration referred to as ultrasound to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth. Additionally, anything other than a soft brush has the potential to harm not only the teeth but the gums as well. Always use a “soft” bristled brush.

  2. You don’t brush at the right time of day
    The most important time to brush your teeth is before bed. Sleep is the longest period of the day you’re not eating and therefore the best time for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease to “feed”. Another small change can be made for people who brush their teeth before breakfast - suds up those chompers afterwards instead, for optimal oral health.

  3. You ignore the rest of your mouth
    Don’t forget to care for your tongue! The tongue can harbor food and bacteria in the tiny crevices between “papillae” (little bumps on the top of your tongue that help grip food while chewing) . Use your tooth brush lightly on your tongue and then follow with a tongue scraper to get rid of harmful bacteria.

  4. Not brushing long enough
    The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Two minutes feel like a long time when you’re doing something less stimulating (to most … not us of course!). This is one reason we love electric toothbrushes - they keep you honest with their built in two minutes timers.

  5. Not using proper technique
    Many people are surprised to find, later in life, that they’ve been brushing the wrong way. But the truth is, proper brushing and flossing can be a little tricky! Don’t hesitate to get exact recommendation from your dentist or hygienist and ask any questions. We love these conversations! Most commonly, mistakes have to do with the angle of the brush, brush strokes and flossing motions.

  6. You don’t replace your brush
    You should replace your brush every 3-4 months, more frequently if the bristles become worn. Worn down bristles aren’t as effective. You should also change your brush out after you’ve been sick.

    As always, the Soulsmile team is available to address any concerns you have about the proper way to brush. Don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office. Feel free to give us a call at 541.482.4995. Happy brushing!



Toothbrush Selection

There are so many toothbrushes on the market – how do you choose? Angled heads, electric brushes, ergonomic handles, biodegradable, etc. All these choices can make it tough to decide which brush is right for you. In this article, we’ll decode some of these options and help steer you in the right direction.  

What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft?

When we talk about “hard” or “soft” toothbrushes, we are referring to the stiffness of bristles on a toothbrush. In theory, stiffer bristles are designed to better remove plaque, food bits and staining. However, our recommendation is to always go for a softer brush. This simple fact is that most people actually brush too hard! Brushing too vigorously is compounded when using a hard-bristled brush and can cause damage to sensitive gum tissue - especially near the gum line.

So next time you come across a hard toothbrush, save it for cleaning the kitchen grout instead!

Natural or Synthetic Bristles?

Most toothbrushes are made from a synthetic material. However, recent advances have been made to promote the production and usage of natural material toothbrushes – for both bristles and handles. Popular materials for these types of brushes are plant or wood fiber. In our opinion, either is fine for your pearly whites, but we love the idea of toothbrushes which are better for the environment! Try a natural toothbrush out when you have the opportunity.

Heads and Handles

There are almost infinite possibilities in brush and head styles. Rather than take too much time describing them all, we’ll get down to business. Here’s what you need to know: It doesn’t matter much. Instead of getting weighed down by the choices, just choose one that’s comfortable to use and inspires excellent hygiene (cheetah print anyone?).

Electric or Manual?

This is where we’ll make our strongest recommendation. We are huge fans of electric toothbrushes! They are powerful and easy to apply the right pressure with. Another great benefit is that many models come with a timer, encouraging people to brush for a full two minutes more often than they normally would. A study by the American Dental Association found that most people brush for only a minute and half.

In addition, the sonic waves emitted by the vibrating brush are proven to be more effective at loosening food and plaque. We had a patient in Invisalign treatment compare brushing her aligners with a manual toothbrush after forgetting her electric brush on a two week vacation. After the experiment, she claimed she would never use a manual toothbrush again! She said the difference, when she could actually see what she was brushing (opposed to the teeth in your own mouth), was an obvious one.

Finding “The One”

Still wondering which toothbrush is best? Don’t worry about it too much. Consistency in your dental hygiene makes a bigger impact on your dental health than any style of toothbrush. Brush two times a day, floss daily and keep your regular hygiene appointments.

If you still have questions about choosing a toothbrush or any other dental care topics, feel free to drop us a line.