8 Mistakes to Avoid: Are You Brushing Your Teeth Properly?

Posted September 18, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

Most people know brushing is extremely important for the health of their teeth. When a person brushes as they should, they are less likely to develop cavities and gum disease. Unfortunately, mistakes happen often, and some people do not know the proper form for brushing.

To ensure you have a happy, healthy, and strong mouth, here are some tips to ensure you are brushing your teeth properly:

Why Is Tooth Brushing So Important?

When individuals brush their teeth twice a day, they remove food particles and plaque that can cause tooth damage. Dentists like Foothills Family Dentistry advise their patients to brush and floss often and see the dentist for cleanings twice a year. Proper brushing and dental cleanings go hand in hand for good oral hygiene. 

8 Mistakes People Make When Brushing Their Teeth

While tooth brushing seems like a fairly straightforward process, many people do not realize they are brushing improperly and could be putting their oral health in danger. It is important a person carefully brushes and ensures they are not making the following mistakes. 

1. Many people choose the wrong toothbrush. Choosing a brush that is too hard can cause tooth damage. It is important to choose a toothbrush that is soft enough to gently clean the teeth without causing abrasions. 

2. Brushing too hard is also a big mistake. Some people think they need to bear down to get their teeth clean, and this simply is not correct. Gentle brush strokes are all that is needed. 

3. Another big mistake people make is rushing. If a person is rushing too fast to brush their teeth, they are likely missing areas. It is important to brush for at least two minutes twice a day. 

4. Individuals also forget to replace their toothbrushes often. Once a person likes a toothbrush, they may hold on way too long. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months for good oral health

5. Some people brush with a sawing motion that can cause gum damage. It is important to go up and down vertically, using a slight circular motion. Using this method of brushing will remove plaque from the teeth and gum line. 

6. Many people forget to brush their gum line, only focusing on their teeth instead. It is wise for individuals to gently brush their gum line because plaque can be pushed under the gum tissue and cause gum disease. 

7. It is important for people to avoid brushing immediately after eating. When brushing after eating, individuals often cause erosions on their teeth because they mix the acid from the foods they have eaten, with abrasives in the toothpaste. 

8. Individuals need to make sure they floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day. Brushing twice a day is essential, but individuals need to ensure at least one time a day includes all the steps for good oral health. 

Dental Cleanings Are Important

Individuals need to make sure they are seeing the dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and dental exams. These appointments are essential for ensuring cavities and gum disease do not occur. With these exams, dentists will find minor oral health problems and treat them before they become severe. 


Those who have been brushing incorrectly should heed the tips above to make sure they use the correct tools and form. If a person is having trouble brushing their teeth effectively, they should talk with their dentist to receive better instruction. 

*Photos by Tara Winstead