Top 5 Brushing Habits to Break in 2024

Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
Family Brushing Their Teeth | Top 5 brushing Habits in 2022 | My Dental Advocate

The toothbrush has dramatically evolved since the late 1700s.

Today’s toothbrushes have many features, including ultrasonic technology, Bluetooth connectivity and multiple brushing modes.

This evolution comes with many perks; however, the toothbrush can still lead to undesirable side effects, including sensitive gums, irreversible recession and loss of enamel.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way!

Need Dental Advice? Ask Dr. Hannan!

Related: Top 6 Best Everyday Manual Toothbrush Review 2024

1. Don’t Scrub Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is critical to eliminating plaque and cavity-causing bacteria.

Many people believe that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner you become. Dental plaque is soft and sticky, whereas calculus is hard. The goal is to eliminate dental plaque before it calcifies with a gentle, circular-brushing motion.

A light touch is also necessary as you clean all surfaces of the teeth.

When brushing, toothbrush bristles should be angled at 45 degrees towards the gum tissue to sweep away bacteria below the gum line.

Electric toothbrushes are superior to manual toothbrushes because they eliminate the need to scrub your teeth, and many offer pressure indicators to notify users of overly aggressive brushing.

Toothpaste is highly abrasive on teeth, so use only a pea-sized amount 2-3 times per day.

2. Don’t Use Medium or Hard Toothbrush

Medium and hard-bristled toothbrushes should only be used when cleaning toilet bowls or tile grout.

Soft and extra-soft toothbrushes minimize damage to sensitive gums and teeth. Although enamel is the hardest substance in the body, repeated scrubbing using abrasive toothpaste can quickly lead to irreversible gum recession and tooth sensitivity.

When gum recession occurs, it exposes a sensitive area of the tooth known as cementum triggered by temperature changes, especially cold.

Related: Top 5 Best Extra Soft Manual Toothbrush Review 2024

3. Avoid Infrequent Brushing

Daily brushing habits are essential to prevent bacteria from congregating on your teeth.

Be sure to brush after breakfast and before going to bed. For example, if you consume coffee or juice in the morning, wait 10-15 minutes before brushing to prevent brushing away weakened enamel after interacting with acidic liquids.

Lastly, brushing for 2 minutes is recommended to clear away debris on all surfaces of the teeth.

4. Replace Toothbrush Every 3 Months

It’s essential to replace your brush head or toothbrush every three months to maintain a healthy mouth, as germs and bacteria are pesky and will hide deep within the bristles after months of use. Also, store your toothbrush in a cool and dry environment to limit bacterial growth.

BURST offers a brush head subscription service for their sonic toothbrush that’s simple and convenient.

After signing up, a replacement brush head will be shipped to your door every three months, so you never have to worry about when to replace it.

Use code UF4JEC for 30% off all BURST products HERE.

Related: BURST Sonic Toothbrush Review 2024

5. Upgrade to an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes offer superior cleaning and comfort compared to manual toothbrushes.

You’re more prone to brush aggressively with a manual toothbrush and far less capable of removing dental plaque. Electric toothbrush technology is far too advanced to keep on the sideline so upgrade today and improve your oral health.

Key Benefits

  • Electric toothbrush benefits
  • Two-minute timer
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Replacement brush heads
  • Multiple brushing modes

Related: Best MDA Recommended Products

My Experience & Expertise

Don’t let these bad habits lead to irreversible damage on your teeth.

Breaking bad habits can be especially difficult. However, with persistence, patience and self-motivation, you can replace these habits with better ones to improve your oral health.

Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!


About the Author

Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

Matt Hannan, DDS Signature | My Dental Advocate

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