This four-part article series takes a closer look at the 11 toothbrushing mistakes people frequently and unwittingly make when caring for their pearly whites.

Brushing your teeth is a habit that becomes second nature to most if not all of us. You do it everyday, hopefully twice a day, and as a result one tends to pay little attention to the technique and ritual that goes into it. The dangers of becoming sloppy with a habit as important as toothbrushing includes cavities, tooth decay and even tooth loss, which is why it’s important to take a step back and reassess. In this four-part article series, Chicago dental healthcare professionals will be talking to us about the top 11 toothbrushing mistakes patients commonly make.

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Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 1

Not Using the Correct Toothbrush

Just take a walk down the dental healthcare aisle of your local supermarket or pharmacy. The sheer number and variety of toothbrushes is astounding! They seem to come in a spectacular multitude of brands, colors, shapes, sizes and bristle hardness… how do you even go about choosing the best one? We asked Chicago dental healthcare professionals and here’s what they had to say:

“There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to choosing the right toothbrush. Literally. When choosing a toothbrush, make sure you opt for one that fits comfortable in your mouth and can reach every single tooth without compromise. People with smaller mouths should choose smaller, slimmer toothbrushes and vice versa. You should never find yourself straining your jaws to reach your back-most teeth.

“Other factors to consider are handle grip and comfort. If you struggle to hold and control your toothbrush while brushing, you’re not going to do as thorough a job as you should. Imagine trying to eat peas with a soapy fork… you’re likely to give up halfway through! Your toothbrush should have a good grip so that you can control it while brushing every tooth in your mouth.

“Comfort has a psychological aspect to it as well,” explain Chicago dental health experts. “If brushing is a tricky, slippery exercise, you’ll be less likely to do it for a decent amount of time or frequency.”

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 2

Thinking That an Electric Toothbrush will do all the Work for You

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Many people believe that electric toothbrushes are better and more thorough in their ability to keep their teeth clean. There is some variation in dentists’ opinion on this matter, but the consensus is that if you brush your teeth well with an electric toothbrush, you’ll do just as well with a manual one.

“It’s not about the toothbrush. It’s about the brusher,” say Chicago dental hygienists. “Some patients mistakenly believe that an electric toothbrush will do all the work for them, so they don’t brush as long as they should and even neglect to do other essential hygienic measures, namely flossing. An electric toothbrush is an alternative to a manual toothbrush. It does not replace flossing. And just because the head rotates and brushes faster than your hand, doesn’t mean that you cut your brushing time down either.”

Stay Tuned for Part 2

To find out more about the common toothbrushing mistakes we make and what the implant dentist in Chicago has to say about them, stay tuned for the second installment of this four-part article series.