Teeth Brushing Do’s and Don’ts

Improve Your Smile - Image of left side of woman's face.

Just like washing your hands before you eat, brushing teeth should be an important daily habit you embrace to ensure your oral health. Brushing is essentially washing your teeth and gums after you eat.

In this post, our Country Dental dentists will discuss brushing teeth the right way plus what not to do when brushing your teeth. These teeth brushing tips will help promote good oral hygiene habits for kids and for adults, and keep your teeth strong and healthy for life.

Brushing Teeth the Right Way – The Do’s

Do Brush with a Soft Toothbrush

Soft bristle toothbrushes are less abrasive and recommended most. Even though toothbrushes can range from extra soft to firm bristles, soft bristle toothbrushes will still clean your teeth properly. They are also more forgiving if you have sensitive teeth or if you have bad teeth cleaning habits and don’t brush your teeth properly.

Do Brush Your Teeth for At Least 2 Minutes

Most dentists recommend the 2/2 principle, brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes at a time.

Do Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal

Brushing twice a day (in the morning and before bedtime) is the minimum recommended but preferably you should brush your teeth after every meal. (Way to go Canada – The Canadian Health Measures Survey reports that at least 73% of Canadian brush twice a day!)

Do Use Fluoride Toothpaste

The whole purpose of brushing teeth is to promote oral health. Fluoride has been proven to help prevent tooth decay so brushing daily with a fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen your teeth. See our page on Good Oral Hygiene and Dental Care.

Do Clean Your Tongue & Gums

It is also important to properly clean your tongue and gums. As the foods you eat break down, they create acids in the mouth, which can be cleaned away properly by brushing your tongue and gums as well as your teeth.

Do Allow Your Toothbrush to Air Dry

To store your toothbrush properly, we recommend that you keep your toothbrush upright to let it air dry. Wet toothbrushes will only promote bacteria growth. Your toothbrush won’t dry as fast or be as hygienic if you lay it flat, store it in a sleeve, or place it upside down in a container.

Do Change Your Toothbrush Every Three Months

Seasonal toothbrushes may sound funny, but if you change your toothbrush with every new season it just might help you remember that you need a new toothbrush at least every 3 months.

What Not to Do When Brushing Teeth

Don’t Rush to Brush

On average, most Canadians brush their teeth for under 45 seconds. That’s not enough. Brushing your teeth for any length of time is better than not brushing at all. However, in order to clean your teeth properly and to give your fluoride toothpaste time to be effective, you should allow at least 2 minutes for brushing.

Don’t Use Hard Bristle Toothbrushes

The bristles on soft bristle toothbrushes bend easier, are less abrasive (won’t scratch your tooth enamel) and are gentler on your gums and teeth. If you have sensitive teeth or weakened enamel, we would even recommend using ultra-soft toothbrushes.

Don’t Brush Your Teeth Too Hard

Brushing your teeth too hard may irritate your gums and potentially damage your teeth, especially if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush that can scratch the tooth enamel. Don’t scrub with a hard toothbrush. Instead, gently massage your teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush.

Don’t Share Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are cleaning tools used to clean away harmful bacteria and acids in your mouth. Don’t put yourself at risk by using your partner’s toothbrush…and don’t put them at risk by sharing your toothbrush.

Still Have Questions About Brushing Teeth?

We love preventative dental care. Brushing regularly and booking an annual dental exam and teeth cleaning are your best defense against cavities and oral health problems.

We also offer kids dental services and emergency dental services.

If you still have questions about brushing teeth or any other dental issue, please book a dental appointment or call the Country Dental clinic nearest you:

Toronto:             416-335-7377

Cambridge:        519-620-7474

Fergus:               519-787-7878