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.

Welcome to this, the third installment of our four-part article series on the top 11 toothbrushing mistakes Chicago residents commonly make. So far, we’ve looked at the first five points. We’re halfway through, so without further ado, let’s look at habits # 6, 7 and 8.

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 6

Not Brushing Correctly

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“When it comes to preventing tooth decay and the various oral diseases that lead to tooth loss, your tooth brushing technique is more important than any other factor,” say dental implant specialists in Chicago. “Questions of toothbrush brand, bristles and manual versus electric are of secondary importance. If you use your toothbrush correctly, little else matters really.”

Here are some rules for correct toothbrush usage:

  • Align your toothbrush at 45° to the gum line,
  • Do short, circular strokes,
  • Brush softly; not hard and vigorously,
  • Brush both the outer and inner tooth surfaces,
  • Brush your tongue, too!

Contrary to how most of us brush our teeth, you shouldn’t actually use horizontal strokes across the tooth crowns. According to Chicago dental hygienists, you should either brush up and down or use circular motions.

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 7

Using the Same Starting Point Every Time

“People tend to brush certain quadrants in the mouth more thoroughly than they do others. The back teeth definitely don’t receive the same amount of attention the front teeth do and this explains why the molars tend to succumb to dental decay first,” explain dental implants experts in Chicago. “When you brush your teeth, start in a different place every time and make sure you dedicate the same amount of effort to keeping every tooth clean.”

The rationale behind starting in a different place every time is that you don’t rush any one particular quadrant of the mouth. People tend to become bored after a while and finish up quickly. If you always start in one place and finish in another, a section of your mouth is not going to receive as much attention as the others. To remedy this, begin brushing at a different point every time.

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 8

Only Brushing the Front Tooth Surfaces

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“It’s not only the front surfaces of the teeth that need a good scrubbing two to three times a day; it’s also the back surfaces! Every facet of every tooth in your mouth harbors bacteria, so every facet of every tooth in your mouth requires cleaning,” emphasize Chicago dental healthcare professionals. “Whether you can see it or feel it or not, plaque accumulates on every surface of your teeth and tongue, which is why you must be thorough in your brushing routine.”

Chicago Dental Health: Toothbrushing Mistake # 9

Not Rinsing Your Toothbrush Afterwards

If you don’t rinse your toothbrush after using it, bacteria and food debris remain trapped within its bristles. The next time you use it, you’re putting all that bacteria back in your mouth. Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after you’ve used it. This will help flush out bacteria, food debris and leftover toothpaste.

Stay Tuned for Part 4

To read about the final toothbrushing mistakes we have on our list and what dental implants Chicago specialists have to say about them, stay tuned for the final installment of our four-part article series.