Oral Hygiene: You’re Doing it Wrong

Fact: the average person will spend around 38 days of their life brushing their teeth. If you’re going to dedicate that much time to something, you want to make sure you’re doing it right.

I know, I know, you’re an adult; you know how to brush your teeth, but hear me out. The assumption is that if your teeth look clean and healthy, they must be clean and healthy. But that’s just not the case. And considering that many of you are about to indulge in a four day chocolate bender, I’d say this topic is particularly timely. So get ready to smile and say “cheese!” It’s time to talk about oral hygiene and when it might be time for you to make a trip down to the dentist in Grand Blanc, or anywhere for that matter.

Exactly how long do I have to brush my teeth for?

At least two minutes, twice a day, no excuses.

Which is better: a soft, medium or hard bristled brush?

A soft bristled brush is best. We often scrub at our teeth like we would a dirty dish, however this can actually erode tooth enamel, irritate your gums and exacerbate sensitive teeth.

Which is better: a regular toothbrush or an electric toothbrush?

If you’re using the correct brushing technique, they’re just as good as each other. The correct way to clean your teeth is to brush softly in a circular motion, aiming the bristles at your gum line, spending at least 30 sections in each quadrant of your mouth. Start in one section and work your way around, rather than brushing all over the place.

Will red wine really stain my teeth?

Yep! In fact, anything darkly pigmented can stain your teeth. If it’s something you’re concerned about, dentists recommend swapping the darker option with a lighter one. For example, choosing champagne over red wine. However, keep in mind that anything highly acidic – whether it is dark or not – can cause your tooth enamel to be temporarily weakened, making it susceptible to stains.

How often do I need to replace my toothbrush?

No matter what type of toothbrush you use, it should be replaced every three months.

I spend ages brushing my teeth – so why do I need to floss?

Flossing is the best way to get rid of the bacteria between your teeth. Your toothbrush often can’t get to those bits, and unfortunately, the bacteria between your teeth can do a lot more harm than the bacteria on the outside that your toothbrush can reach.

Why do my gums bleed when I floss?

Sometimes it can be a sign of an infection. Normally you don’t have a lot of blood hanging around in that area, but your body will send blood to your gums to combat the infection. However, a lot of the time the infection or build up of bacteria is caused by – you guessed it – not flossing. So the more regularly you floss, the less you’ll bleed because your gums will get healthier.

If I brush and floss, do I really need to use mouthwash as well?

Mouthwash isn’t an essential part of your oral hygiene routine, however recent research shows that if you use a bacteria-killing mouthwash (as well as brushing and flossing) you have a higher chance of getting rid of germs that cause plaque and gingivitis. It’s also especially handy if you’re a lazy brusher and flosser.


  • Reply stels Saturday 14th June, 2014 at 12:18 am


  • Reply blackcab Wednesday 26th June, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Great tips!

  • Reply lizzie77 Friday 14th June, 2013 at 12:22 am

    thanks for the tips

  • Reply Sparkles17 Wednesday 12th June, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I cannot live without flossing followed by mouthwash!! Off to the dentist for a clean this Thu too!

  • Reply Leanna Saturday 1st June, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Not a topic everyone overtly wants to ask or talk about, so it’s great when you can find the information you’re looking for on a blog. Thanks!

  • love-melona
    Reply love-melona Tuesday 28th May, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I need to floss and use mouth wash 🙁

  • Reply tarraise Wednesday 15th May, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Really need to be more vigilant with my teeth.
    I’ll often go to bed, remember I haven’t brushed my teeth and fall asleep without doing it.
    Not good

  • Reply Whatthe Wednesday 15th May, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Great b&w photo! Love it!

  • Reply naomi2201 Tuesday 14th May, 2013 at 10:11 am

    well there you go…

  • Reply kittydoll Saturday 4th May, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Great article!!

  • newbie
    Reply newbie Monday 22nd April, 2013 at 12:39 am

    three months! thanks a bunch for the heads up!

  • Reply T1NA Saturday 13th April, 2013 at 9:49 am

    hmm i definitely need to use mouthwash more then!

  • Reply amanda6393 Friday 5th April, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Great tips.

  • Reply seachelle Tuesday 2nd April, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    haha i read ‘you’re doing it wrong’ and immediately checked my breath. not a problem there, phew

  • Reply Ian Tuesday 2nd April, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    some great tips

  • Reply stels Monday 1st April, 2013 at 9:04 am

    will definitely change my toothbrush every three months now!

  • Reply coyleshana Monday 1st April, 2013 at 2:16 am

    i drink way to much red wine and my teeth are very stained from this!! 🙂

  • Reply BellaB Sunday 31st March, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I might pass this on to my kids, actually…

  • Reply AmberB Sunday 31st March, 2013 at 9:50 am

    great info

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Saturday 30th March, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Great tips, important to your health

  • Reply angelwings Saturday 30th March, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for the information.

  • Reply Whatthe Saturday 30th March, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    excellent article!

  • Reply foxoduck Saturday 30th March, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    good tips

  • Reply BellaB Saturday 30th March, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Interesting – I haven’t given this much thought before!

  • Reply dj23249 Saturday 30th March, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Thanks for the tips

  • Reply yslyenom Friday 29th March, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    A lot of useful information there. Thanks.

  • Reply ebbylulu Friday 29th March, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    thanks for the good info.

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Friday 29th March, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Good tips!

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