It’s a new year, another chance for us to get it right. Time to get rid of old bad habits that don’t serve us, and improve our lives. As the saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new!” And what better way to start than with personal hygiene? Here are ten bad brushing habits to break in 2022.

1. Using a Toothbrush Too Long

If you use your brush for too long, it will become almost useless since the bristles will start to become frayed and worn. In order to serve you well in clearing away plaque and removing food debris from your teeth, you should replace a manual toothbrush every three to four months. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head every 2-3 months, since the bristles are generally shorter and will wear away sooner.

2. Brushing Too Hard

Applying too much pressure when you brush is not good for your teeth or gums. It can lead to enamel wear and receding gums. Instead, use gentle repetitive strokes. 

3. Brushing Right After Meals

Many people make the mistake of brushing their teeth right after meals. If you consume acidic foods and drinks, they can soften the enamel on your teeth. Therefore, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing after meals. Drink water in between and allow some time for your enamel to harden so that you don’t brush it off.

4. Using A Hard Toothbrush

It’s true that a hard toothbrush is designed to better remove food debris and plaque. Unfortunately, a hard toothbrush can also damage sensitive gum tissue, especially around the gumline. For best results, use a soft toothbrush and brush thoroughly. 

5. Covering Your Toothbrush

When you’re done brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow.

6. Not Brushing Long Enough

Most people only brush their teeth for an average of 45 seconds. Slow down! You should brush your teeth for around 2 minutes, twice a day. You can set a timer or hum your favorite tune as you brush. A good rule of thumb is to hum the “happy birthday” song twice while you brush. 

7. Neglecting To Brush Your Tongue

Your tongue can hold onto bacteria for a long time, and this can lead to bad breath and infections. Remember to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. 

8. Brushing Side To Side 

Most people brush their teeth side to side, which actually damages the enamel on the teeth. Instead, brush your teeth in small circles at 45 degree angles to the teeth. You can still use side to side motions on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. 

9. Brushing But Not Flossing

Just brushing your teeth is not enough. Your toothbrush cannot reach 35% of your tooth’s surface. Flossing helps remove food debris between the teeth. Flossing prevents gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and more.

10. Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

Especially when it comes to your toothbrush! Don’t share your toothbrush or borrow anyone else’s. There are hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing a toothbrush could be passing these on to others.  This could be anything from a common cold sore to something as serious as hepatitis B or HIV. Some bacteria or viruses live on surfaces for hours. So, to avoid serious consequences, keep your toothbrush to yourself. 

Call today to schedule an appointment: 718-621-0827. Onatsky Dental Clinic is located at 2960 Ocean Ave 1st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11235.