7 ways you're brushing your teeth wrong

You do it every day but that doesn't mean you're doing it right.

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  • Everyone knows that brushing your teeth is a pretty big deal; by brushing teeth, you are more attractive, you can avoid cavities and painful surgeries, and you have better smelling breath. It's something we do every day (hopefully more than once a day)...but none of this means you aren't doing it wrong.

  • According the American Dental Association even you might be making these 7 teeth brushing mistakes:

  • You have a potty mouth

  • Generally, people keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom. And even if you're diligent about cleaning, it can be pretty germy in there. To keep your toothbrush clean, dentists suggest you store it in an upright holder to prevent it from touching the counter and don't let it touch neighboring toothbrushes.

  • Also, make sure your brush has the opportunity to air dry. If you store your toothbrush in a case, make sure it's ventilated. If your brush can't air dry, it will be prone to bacteria growth because germs like to grow in moist environments.

  • You rinse with water

  • Swishing water in your mouth after you brush your teeth washes much of the fluoride out with it which minimizes your toothpaste's effectiveness. You shouldn't eat or drink for at least half an hour after brushing your teeth.

  • If you feel the need to rinse out your mouth after brushing, switch out the water for mouthwash.

  • You brush more than 2 times a day

  • If you're brushing when you wake up, after every meal, and at night, stop it. This can actually erode your teeth's enamel and damage your gums.

  • Moreover, if you ate anything acidic, you need to wait at least 30 minutes after you brush your teeth before eating or drinking. When you eat these kinds of foods, your saliva also becomes more acidic. Brushing your teeth can actually rub this acid into your teeth which can be damaging.

  • You start at the same place

  • If you always start brushing on the top right side, that section is going to get the most attention. Before you finish, you might get bored so your thoroughness weakens. Switch up where you start and pay attention to which spots are being neglected.

  • You don't brush long enough

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  • The average person brushes their teeth for only 45 seconds. But dentists recommend you brush for at least 2 minutes. If you aren't brushing long enough, the fluoride in the toothpaste may not have enough time to attach to your teeth

  • Set a timer, use an electric toothbrush with a timer, or listen to a 2 minute song to make sure you devote enough time to brushing your teeth.

  • You're not switching it up

  • Every 3 to 4 months, when your brush loses its stiffness and flexibility, you need to throw it away and get a new one. Your used toothbrush isn't as sterile as a new one. Also, without the proper stiffness, your old brush isn't able to clean as well.

  • You aren't going in circles

  • Brushing in a back and forth motion is not the right brushing technique. Instead, you should brush in a small circular motion. You should also hold the brush at a 45 degree angle for maximum effectiveness.

  • Don't fret if you found you're making mistakes; With time to practice twice a day, you'll be a pro in no time.

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Melinda Fox has a bachelor's degree in English and is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She loves Shakespeare, listening to her favorite songs on repeat and journaling.

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