Oral Care Tips for Parents

5 Most Common Errors In Brushing Your Teeth

To keep your teeth and mouth healthy, brushing is the most important thing you can do every single day! It is very important to make sure you are brushing correctly or you may miss out on the benefits brushing has on your oral health.

1. Do not use an old or damaged toothbrush.

You need to replace your toothbrush at least every three months or if you notice the bristles are worn down. When the bristles are not straight, they can’t do their job as well and your teeth may not be getting as good of a cleaning.

2. Floss before you brush

Make sure to floss before you brush! Flossing should be done twice a day, both morning and night for optimal oral health. It’s important to floss before you brush because you can be leaving bacteria behind that may cause cavities! When you floss it should remove any food particles or plaque. If you do not brush after flossing the bacteria may stick around in your mouth. In order to have a truly clean smile, make sure to floss first and follow up with two minutes of a good brushing!

3. Make sure to use the correct toothpaste!

Using a fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen the teeth and helps prevent cavities. For children, I recommend buying a flavored toothpaste like bubblegum or fruit flavored. Most kids don’t like mint flavored toothpaste because it tends to taste “too spicy”. Using a flavored toothpaste will make your job easier when trying to get a full two-minute brushing done on them. If they have sensitive teeth, there are several options for toothpaste that won’t irritate them. Toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate calms the nerves in the teeth. Studies have shown it helps with strengthening teeth and reducing pain and discomfort.

4. Do not only brush your teeth in straight lines but also brush in circles!

Brushing in straight lines will only clean some areas of your teeth but not all of them! Brushing in circles will reach the outer surfaces of your teeth and help you get the best cleaning possible. Up and down motions are best for the inner surfaces of your teeth to ensure any plaque or bacteria is brushed away! Straight lines are the best bet to ensure the back teeth are clean and any food or debris stuck in the grooves gets brushed away!

5. Brush your teeth for two minutes!

Brushing at least two times per day or after every meal is recommended. To make sure you are getting your teeth clean, purchase a timer and keep it on your bathroom counter. It is recommended to brush for two minutes every time you brush your teeth. The two-minute rule is easier to keep if you have a timer accessible and in plain sight!

These five tips are important steps to having the best oral health possible! Make sure to also keep up with regular dental cleanings and exams. If you were making any common mistakes, the good news is you now have the correct information and you will be brushing like a professional in no time at all!

Please download our step by step guide
How to Brush Your Teeth

Dr Brant Darby DDS

Dr. J. Brant Darby graduated with honors from The Master’s College with a degree in Biology. He completed his dental training at the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry, followed by a pediatric dental residency at University of Nebraska Medical Center. He actively served as a dental officer in the United States Army for eight years.

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