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14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth



Consider this the ultimate one-stop guide to brushing your teeth properly. We'll be exploring the biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - covering everything from correct technique, when to rinse, how much toothpaste to use, and more!

Myths will be busted. Preconceptions, smashed. And your teeth will be all the better for it.

Okay, you may have heard some of these before, but hopefully you can learn a thing or two. There will also be lots of gifs to make the whole experience at least 50% more enjoyable for everyone involved.

1. Don’t “brush” your teeth, massage them

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - massage them

Easy does it, you’re not scraping burnt lasagne off the oven door - these are your teeth and you’ve only got one set! You might see actors scrubbing vigorously in adverts and movies, but dentists recommend gently brushing in small circles. And if you’re using a good electric toothbrush you don’t even have to “brush” at all - you can simply guide it and let the motor do the work.

2. Check your angles

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - angle

You need to tilt your toothbrush to a 45 degree angle to get those bristles up and under the gum line. You might be thinking "isn’t this going to erode away my gums?” Nope! Provided you’re brushing carefully, you’ll be helping to prevent gum recession by removing all that plaque and bacteria.

3. Your bristles are too hard!

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - bristles too hard 

There seems to be a strange misconception that the stiffer the bristle, the deeper the clean. Maybe if you’re sweeping the patio, but when it comes to toothbrushes, hard bristles can remove the protective enamel on your teeth and damage your gums. Our plant-based brush heads use medium/soft bristles to provide a reassuringly thorough clean while still being gentle on your gums.

4. Not brushing twice a day

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - Twice a day

Running late for work? Don’t want your croissant tasting of toothpaste? Just really forgetful? Whatever the reason, a whopping one in five of us don’t brush our teeth twice a day. Make sure you do, especially before bed - otherwise you’re leaving a load of bacteria to party in your mouth all night long.

5. Not taking your time

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - 2 minutes

Two minutes of your time, to be precise. Studies have shown we drastically overestimate how long we spend brushing our teeth - often by as much as a whole minute. Two minutes lets you give each tooth the attention it deserves and can help you remove up to 26% more plaque! Good times. Our sustainable electric toothbrush has a built-in two minute timer to help you go the distance, with haptic feedback every 30 seconds so you know when to switch to the next quadrant of your mouth.

6. Eating or drinking too soon

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - eating and drinking

Don't knock back that oat milk cappuccino straight away. Try and leave at least 30 minutes either side of brushing your teeth. After you eat or drink your saliva is more acidic, and when you brush your teeth it temporarily weakens the enamel, leaving them more vulnerable so it's best to wait a while. 

7. To rinse or not to rinse?

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - rinse

No one especially enjoys the exquisite minty taste of toothpaste, but that doesn't mean you should wash away all your hard work! Don't rinse your mouth with water right after you've brushed or you’ll be flushing away all that fluoride goodness before it’s had a chance to do its thing!

8. Starting in the same place

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - missed a bit

Easier said than done at 6am in the morning, but it’s time to switch off auto-pilot mode and mix things up a bit. We’ll bet you start on the same side every time and your front teeth get a lot more love than the back ones. Try to begin your routine in a different spot each day to stop you falling into bad habits.

9. Not brushing your tongue

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - brush your tongue

We’re not going to ask you to lick the back of your hand and sniff it. Our tongues play host to all manner of germs and bacteria - so make sure you give it a good clean during your routine. Luckily our plant-based heads feature a handy tongue-scraper

10. Not replacing your brush heads often enough

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - toothbrush heads

We’re all probably guilty of this one. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush head at least every three months. Frayed and damaged bristles don’t have the same flex or effectiveness - not to mention they’ve gathered quite a lot of bacteria in this time! SURI toothbrush heads come in handy packs of 3 so you can plan ahead.

11. Using the wrong type of toothpaste

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - using the wrong toothpaste

Baking soda, charcoal, aloe vera, olive oil, coconut. They might sound tasty and exciting, but make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride or nHAp (nano-hydroxyapatite). These are the dentist-recommended gold standard when it comes to remineralisation and protection against cavities.

12. Too much toothpaste!

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - too much toothpaste

All those adverts would have you believe you need a generous, brush-sized dollop to get the job done. Truth be told, you really only need a pea-sized amount. As a child, too much toothpaste can damage developing teeth, but as an adult it’s unlikely to cause any harm - it’s just a waste!

13. Keeping your toothbrush head covered

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - covering toothbrush

Those little covers are great for protecting your toothbrush while travelling, but if you use them every day you’re just trapping in the moisture and keeping your bristles wet. In other words, you’ve created a lovely, germ-friendly cocoon for your brush. Don’t do it!

14. Forgetting to floss!

14 biggest mistakes to avoid when brushing your teeth - don't forget to floss

There are some places your brush can’t reach, and sometimes that rogue strand of pulled pork needs a lil’ extra encouragement. If you’re struggling to find the willpower, see if you can commit to flossing just one tooth every night. Sounds daft, but once you’ve started you’ll find it easy to carry on. And just like that, you’ve levelled up your oral care routine.

Well done for making it this far, your teeth are going to be in peak condition. Here's one last BONUS TIP

Stop putting off that dentist appointment and get it booked! Like, right now. Stop what you’re doing, look up your dentist, book it in. Done it? Nice one. ⭐️

Right, that’s quite enough nerding-out about toothbrush angles and tongue bacteria. Hope the gifs didn’t crash your computer. Happy brushing!

For more toothy wisdom, make sure you give us a follow on Insta @discoversuri.

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