If you're ready to take your oral hygiene routine to the next level, here are three common mistakes to avoid making when brushing your teeth.
Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Picking a model of toothbrush that's comfortable to use and that reaches all the areas of your mouth is essential, regardless of whether you prefer an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush.
Small Brush Head
Choosing a toothbrush with a smaller brush head is typically a good idea. This will allow you to brush more of those hard to reach places behind your front teeth, and tucked at the very back of your mouth.
A toothbrush with soft bristles tends to be the best option for most people. Your dentist may even recommend using a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles if you have particularly sensitive teeth and/or signs of enamel erosion.
When you're out shopping for a new toothbrush be sure to look for a handle that fits nicely in your hand, allowing you better maneuverability to reach all areas of your mouth. If your toothbrush has a handle that's too long or bulky it will prevent you from brushing as well as you could.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing harder doesn't mean that you're brushing better!
Avoid brushing too hard, instead, think of brushing as massaging your teeth and gums.
There's no need for vigorous scrubbing. Plaque tends to be relatively soft, loose and easy to remove. Brush gently and be kind to your teeth and gums.
Not Brushing for Long Enough
To thoroughly clean your teeth you should continue brushing for a full two minutes, at least twice daily. You may be surprised at how long two minutes actually is if you've been estimating two minutes, or just rushing through brushing.
Built-in times are available on some models of electric toothbrushes. They let you know when you have completed your two minutes of brushing, or you could just use your watch or phone to time yourself.
Spending about thirty seconds on each quadrant of your mouth, remembering to brush both the backs and the fronts of your teeth is ideal.
And of course, don't forget to spend a few seconds flossing once you're done!