The Most Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes & How To Fix Them

Brushing your teeth seems like a pretty easy task doesn’t it? In fact there are lots of issues that can arise from not brushing your teeth properly, not using the right equipment or brushing at the wrong times. If you want to make sure that you get the most from your brushing experience then below we have identified some of the most common tooth brushing mistakes and how to deal with them

The wrong brush. A toothbrush is a toothbrush, correct? Not so. Just as we all have different sized mouths, hands and teeth so we all need a different toothbrush. Make sure your toothbrush is comfortable in your hands and your mouth – if you are having to open up really wide to fit the brush head in then it’s the wrong size. If your toothbrush is the right shape and size for you to use then you’re much more likely to brush frequently so it’s worth finding one you like. In terms of whether to get an electric model this is really personal preference as a manual brush will do just as effective a job.

Bad brushing. Many of us tend to brush using strokes that are long and horizontal but this is not the right way to do it. This can lead to gum irritation when you do this along the gum line is also a very poor way to remove plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Instead, brush in a circular motion with the brush head at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line. Remember not to brush too hard and to brush both the inside and outside of your teeth and the gums as well.

Not enough brushing. If you don’t brush at least twice a day then you’re not doing enough to prevent damage to your teeth. The key times for brushing are first thing in the morning and last thing at night but if you’re consuming a lot of sugary foods and drinks then this can be more often. Remember to brush for at least two minutes to give your brush enough time to tackle the plaque.

Inadequate bristles. The bristles on your brush head actually matter more than you think. Some are angled, some straight, some are soft, medium etc – it can be confusing. According to the British Dental Health Foundation the ideal type is a soft to medium brush that has round-ended multi-tufted nylon bristles.

Missing parts of your teeth. Sometimes we aren’t fully concentrating when we brush and it’s easy to miss some of the tooth. The most common area people don’t get to is the inner part of the teeth, especially those at the lower front, so make sure you target this area to prevent it becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

Too much of a good thing. It’s great to brush your teeth twice a day – and perhaps after you’ve consumed sugary treats too – but limit yourself to less than four times a day. Otherwise you might expose the root to irritation and if you’re brushing too hard then pull back a little or you could erode the enamel.

Same old brush. You need good tools to work effectively and your toothbrush just won’t do a good job if it’s more than 3-4 months old. Bear this timeframe in mind but also keep an eye on the bristles – if they look worn out, bent out of shape or frayed then change the brush just in case

Smile Pad specialize in treatments ranging from tooth whitening to reconstructive dentistry. If you’re looking for a dentist in Chertsey, Salisbury, Bristol & London then feel free to get in touch.


We are pleased to inform all patients seeking dental treatment that our practices are, and will remain open to cater to all your dental needs and maintain your oral health. We are available should you need advice, urgent care, or simply wish to attend for any other dental treatment. Our practices operate under the strictest government guidance and coronavirus protocols. Your safety and the safety of your family remains our priority. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
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