4 Mistakes most people make when brushing their teeth

December 19, 2021
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1. Brushing your teeth right after eating.

Turns out, you’re not doing yourself any favors by brushing your teeth immediately after enjoying breakfast. While it may seem to make sense that brushing after eating would be beneficial in removing bacteria, this thinking isn’t entirely accurate. You should, instead, be brushing before breakfast. But why?

By the time you wake up in the morning, the bacteria in your mouth have multiplied. Gross. To get this gunk out, brush your teeth before you sit down for your morning meal. The fluoride found in toothpaste can help protect your teeth against food too.

2. Brushing your teeth too quickly.

Unfortunately, many of us aren’t brushing our teeth for nearly as long as we should. Just as with hand washing, there is a magic number when it comes to keeping your teeth the cleanest they can be: Two minutes.

One study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene in 2012 found that those who brush their teeth for two minutes remove nearly double the amount of plaque than those who prefer a much quicker method.

3. Brushing your teeth too hard.

It may seem that, to get your teeth sparkling clean, you’d have to get in there. However, the harder you scrub, the tougher your teeth troubles may become. “People tend to brush aggressively, thinking it’s the only way they can get their teeth to feel clean and look whiter,” Gene Romo, dentist and consumer advisor for the American Dental Association, explained to Everyday Health.

4. Putting a cap on your toothbrush after brushing your teeth.

Leaving your toothbrush out in the open doesn’t seem like the safest spot for something you stick in your mouth, but putting a travel cap over the bristles is even more terrifying. “It creates an environment where bacteria are better suited to grow by keeping the bristles moist and not allowing the head of the toothbrush to dry out between uses.v

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