White & Co logo

Mistakes people make brushing their teeth

01 Dec 2023

5 min read

By Dr. Azim Malik
Specialist Periodontist and Implant Surgeon


I think the biggest mistake people make is they don't understand a tooth has more than two surfaces.

A tooth has a lot more than two surfaces.

You’ve got the biting surfaces, the back, the front…

It’s got about five surfaces and all five surfaces need to be cleaned.

Is there a wrong way to brush your teeth?

Also, people think interdental cleaning here and there is okay and it’s not – you need to have a regular routine.

They don't use the right techniques.

They don’t use the right toothbrushes.

And all of these things make a big, big difference.

Should I use an electric toothbrush

I always recommend an electric toothbrush.

Almost 100% of my patients use an electric toothbrush.

So, for me, if I had to make one recommendation it would be to use an electric toothbrush.

Mistakes people make with an electric toothbrush

But many people – almost 70% of patients before I put them right – who use an electric toothbrush don't know how to use one properly.

The biggest mistake is using an electric toothbrush like it’s a manual toothbrush.

Many people just scrub with an electric brush and it just doesn't work.

What they should do, in the simplest terms, is put the electric brush in the right place and it will do the work.


When it comes to using a manual toothbrush, some people use a very hard brush and some use an extremely soft brush.

I think a medium brush is what's recommended for the average individual.

Some people may scrub too hard.

Some people may not be positioning it well enough – so they may position it too high or too low.

You've got to be at the margin of the tooth and the gum.

That's where your manual toothbrush should be.

Most manual toothbrushes are quite big, which means you can’t get them behind the last teeth.

Which toothpaste should I use?

I think most toothpastes are pretty much the same these days.
A lot depends on the amount of fluoride in them.

You need some degree of fluoride in toothpaste.

Most contain fluoride ranging in concentration from 1,000 to 1,500 parts per million (ppm), which is more than adequate – at least for tooth decay.

There’s not much toothpaste can do to get rid of gum disease.

It’s about cleaning.

But most of them are the same.

With that being said, there are loads of people who are into non-fluoridated toothpaste.

I think they have not done their research properly.

Contact us now to make an appointment or to find out more.