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Updated by Meagan Hollman on Oct 23, 2013
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10 Tooth Brushing Mistakes

Brushing your teeth isn’t exactly a science, though it often feels like one. Thousands of students in Utah are filling up dental assisting colleges
to learn how to take better care of their teeth, and the public’s. Take a look at what they’re learning, and discover ten tooth brushing mistakes.

1

Incorrect Brushing.

Incorrect Brushing.

Do not brush your teeth horizontally—this can hurt the gum line. Gently brush up and down your teeth in soft, circular motions, just like you learned as a toddler, or at your Utah dental assisting college. Don’t forget to brush all tooth surfaces, and your tongue—that’s super important to keep the germ count down.

2

Failing to Rinse the Brush.

Failing to Rinse the Brush.

Bacteria will permeate an un-rinsed toothbrush, so when you stick it your mouth the next time to brush, you’ll be putting old bacteria back in. Ick!

3

Wrong Brush.

Wrong Brush.

Get one with a comfortable handle and fits perfectly in your mouth. If you’re straining like you’re taking a bite of a big sandwich, the brush is probably too big.

4

Wrong Bristles.

Wrong Bristles.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends soft-bristle brushes. Bristles that are too stiff can hurt your gums. Don’t use “natural” brushes made with boar bristle or animal hair; they can harm your teeth.

5

Failing to Let the Toothbrush Dry.

Failing to Let the Toothbrush Dry.

Bacteria grow best in moist places, aka, your toothbrush if you don’t let it dry after use. After a good rinse, tap the water out of the brush and put it in a clean, dry place.

6

Starting in the Same Place.

Starting in the Same Place.

Brushing can get boring. If you start in the same place each time you might get lazy with the rest of your mouth. Mix it up each brushing to make sure your whole mouth gets clean. Watch a little TV as you do it—or study for the nutrition class you’re enrolled in at that Utah dental assisting college.

7

Not Brushing Long or Often Enough.

Not Brushing Long or Often Enough.

You know the rule: brush at least twice a day, though three times is best. Bacteria-ridden plaque builds up between brushings, so if you’re not brushing often enough, you run the risk of cavities. Brush for two to three minutes.

8

Brushing Too Hard or Too Often.

Brushing Too Hard or Too Often.

Brushing too hard can wear down tooth enamel, and brushing too often can irritate the roots of your teeth and your gums. Be gentle, and keep to the brushing maximum of three minutes, three times a day.

9

Failing to Brush Inner Tooth Surfaces.

Failing to Brush Inner Tooth Surfaces.

These are the spaces on the back of your teeth where your tongue presses against. Be sure to brush this plaque playground well.

10

Keeping the Same Brush for Too Long.

Keeping the Same Brush for Too Long.

Buy a new brush at the start of each new semester at your dental assisting college in Utah. That way you’re practicing what you’re learning to preach.