4. Perfect Your Technique
Is your way the right way? Wide, side-to-side strokes can scrape your gum line, Sesemann says. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make an up-and-down motion. Use short strokes.
Brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, back molars, and your tongue.
“Don’t forget about those hard-to-reach areas,” Sesemann says. If you aren’t thorough, plaque has time to sit in your mouth and cause damage.
5. Switch Things Up
Do you always begin in the same place? Dentists say most of us do.
"Start in a different place so that you don't get lazy," Price says. By the time you get to the last area of your mouth, you may be bored. Stay aware of what you’re doing.
“Keep track of where you are going and where you have been. Make it to all the surfaces,” Sesemann says.
6. Pick Products Wisely
The kind of toothpaste you use matters, Sesemann says. The ones that brighten or control tartar can be harsh. “An increase in whitening particles can be harmful and sand away tooth structure.”
Go back to plain old fluoride toothpaste, he says. If you want to lighten your smile, you can always switch between whitening toothpaste and regular.
7. Control Your Sour Tooth
Energy drinks, diet sodas, and sour candies -- even healthy things like apple juice, orange juice, and coffee -- have acid that can soften tooth enamel, Sesemann says.
If you do go for that stuff, wait half an hour before you brush. That gives your saliva time to restore tooth enamel.
“The mechanical action of brushing softened teeth is the perfect recipe for wearing away enamel,” Sesemann says.
8. Avoid 'Potty Mouth'
Most of us store our brushes in the bathroom -- not the cleanest place in the house.
To keep yours tidy, stand it up in a holder. If you leave it on the counter, you could expose it to germs from your toilet or sink. And don’t let two brushes touch if they’re stored together.
Let yours air dry -- a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria. Use a cover that lets air in when you travel.