What does your brushing style say about you?

You might be ready for the new school year, but is your smile? Between the football games, PTA meetings and general chaos that can come with the fall season, it’s important to make sure you’re leaving time for your oral health. Sticking to a solid brushing routine is a great start, but we all have different styles. Read on to find your brushing style and discover how you can better protect your smile.


Are you more excited about the color or pattern on your toothbrush than its features? We get it. There are a lot of fun choices out there, and it can make brushing more fun when you find a style that matches your personality.

But before you reach for that leopard print toothbrush, just be sure it has soft bristles, which are the safest choice for your smile. Bristles that are too firm can wear down your tooth structure, irritate or damage gums and enamel, and lead to tooth sensitivity.

Overzealous scrubber

If you’re brushing your teeth like you’re scrubbing a stain out of your favorite t-shirt, you may be brushing too hard. This can damage your tooth enamel and gums, which could result in cavities. Overbrushing can also make your teeth more sensitive to cold. Let the bristles do the work — it’s better to gently massage your teeth and gums, rather than scrub them.



Rushed brusher

Does it seem like you’re always rushing through your brushing routine? You’re not alone. Most people only brush for 45 seconds on average, according to the ADA. Whether you’re trying to get out the door or just racing to jump into bed, it’s still crucial to fit in the recommended two minutes twice a day. If you know there are certain days you struggle to fit your brushing in, try setting a timer, playing some music or walking around to keep brushing for the recommended two minutes.


Maybe you can’t help but chomp on your toothbrush like it’s a stick of gum. But biting down on hard objects can put pressure on your teeth, causing them to shift or crack. It can even break dental work, like your braces or a crown. Instead of chewing, try gently brushing your teeth and gums with short, circular, back-and-forth strokes. If you’re still itching to chew on something after you brush, reach for a stick of xylitol-based gum instead.


Saying goodbye to old items can be hard, but your toothbrush shouldn’t be something you hold on to. A worn toothbrush won’t clean your mouth well. If your bristles are bent, frayed, dirty or discolored, you’re past due for a new one. Swap your toothbrush or toothbrush head out for a new one every three months. Mark it on a calendar to help you remember. You can always recycle that old toothbrush for cleaning grout or other household surfaces!