How can I prevent gagging when I brush my teeth?

Some people have more of a gag reflex than others. If when you brush, you occupy your mind with something else while still using the proper brushing technique, you won't focus on gagging. For example, try sitting in a chair when brushing, straighten one leg, then lift and hold it in the air. Your mind will focus on keeping your leg lifted with the added benefit of a bit of exercise! In addition, try not to place the toothbrush too far back when brushing your tongue. If at all possible, invest in a tongue scraper instead.
If you've ever watched a really grisly movie and felt like you were literally going to throw up, you know all about your gag reflex. The gag reflex may feel unpleasant, but it actually protects your body by preventing objects from getting down your windpipe and choking you. But some people have such a sensitive gag reflex that they feel like they're going to throw up every time they brush their teeth.

To prevent your gag reflex from triggering, try to relax while you brush your teeth. Think about something else -- something pleasant and calming -- to help keep your mind off the brushing and stop you from gagging. And be careful not to stick the toothbrush too far into the back of your throat, which could also make you gag.

Continue Learning about Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily constitute the basics of good oral hygiene. Keeping other parts of your mouth, such as your gums, healthy can benefit your overall health by preventing the spread of germs and dis...

ease. At-home care should be supplemented by professional care. When plaque or tartar develops, a dentist or oral hygienist will use special tools to scrape (scale) the teeth clean without damage. Flouride treatment can help keep teeth cavity-free. Learn more about healthy oral hygiene with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.