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7 Bad Brushing Habits to Break in 2017

 
Toothbrush that needs replacing next to a new toothbrush

Keeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long

Did you know the average life of a toothbrush is 3-4 months? Make a resolution to change your toothbrush with every season this year. Frayed and broken bristles won’t keep your teeth clean—these are signs it’s time to let go. When you’re shopping, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
 
Timer to help you brush two minutes, twice a day

Not Brushing Long Enough

Speed demons, listen up! Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short —the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you’re racing through cleaning, try setting a timer. Or distract yourself by humming your favorite tune!
 
Woman brushing her teeth

Brushing Too Hard

Be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that loves to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that’s needed. Too much pressure may wear down the hard outer shell on your teeth and damage your gums.
 
Empty plate of food and utensils

Brushing Right After Eating

If you feel the need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing—especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help clean your mouth while you are waiting to brush.
 
Brushes in a toothbrush holder

Storing Your Brush Improperly

When you’re done brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Don’t keep your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow, and if your toothbrush is in a holder next to another, keep them separated like the photo above.
 
Always use a soft toothbrush

Using a Brush with Hard Bristles

Soft bristles are the way to go. You don’t want to use medium or hard bristles because these may wear down the outer shell of your teeth and may cause sensitivity when eating or drinking cold food and beverages.
 
Man demonstrates proper brushing technique

Improper Brushing Technique

Get your best brush with these steps: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.