Your oral health care regime is an important part to maintaining a healthy smile and a healthy you. Identifying bad brushing habits can help you freshen up your oral hygiene and prevent possible teeth and gum damage. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth and how to avoid them. Grab your toothpaste and let’s get started! 

1. Brushing at the wrong time


A lot of people tend to brush immediately after eating breakfast, when in fact this can be damaging to your teeth. Since acidic foods weaken tooth enamel, brushing too soon after eating can push the acids further into your teeth and wear away at your enamel. Our dentist office recommends drinking a glass of water after eating to rinse acids away and then waiting 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Alternatively, consider brushing before eating breakfast.


It’s important to brush your teeth before bedtime! Salivary flow slows down while sleeping, which puts your teeth in a vulnerable state. During this time acids produced by bacteria allow cavities to form much easier. We recommend always brushing your teeth before hitting the hay!

2. Brushing too hard

Did you know that brushing your teeth too hard can actually be bad for your oral health? Too much pressure can weaken your enamel, cause tooth sensitivity and in some cases, cause your gums to recede. The same goes for brushing too soft. There should be a happy medium when it comes to your brushing technique with just the right amount of pressure. If you’re using an electronic toothbrush, we recommend lightly guiding it around your teeth. For more tips on proper brushing, ask us at your next dentist appointment!

3. Throwing away your toothbrush after a cold

Despite common belief, it’s unnecessary to throw out your toothbrush after a cold. In a study done by the University of Texas Medical Branch, researchers found that the bacteria responsible for strep throat did not grow on toothbrushes of children diagnosed with the illness. Although this doesn’t necessarily affect your oral health on a daily basis, it could be a habit that is costing you money and unnecessary waste.

4. Not flossing enough

This one is a BIG one! We understand that not everyone enjoys flossing their teeth, but it really is important to your oral health. One technique we recommend to our patients is to try flossing before brushing. Flossing before brushing your teeth will help loosen food and bacteria trapped between your teeth and allow your toothbrush to brush it away.

5. Using the wrong toothbrush

Just like brushing too hard damages your teeth, brushing with too firm of bristles can have the same effect. Using a toothbrush with soft bristles will help avoid tooth sensitivity and damage to your enamel and gums. Just remember to get a new toothbrush once the bristles start to fray!


Remember, if you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or hygienist at your next dentist appointment. If you’re looking for a new family dentist or general dentist in Eugene, Oregon, we are accepting new patients!

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