Guest Blog Post: Common Dental Hygiene Mistakes

Sunday 18 February 2018

Everyone knows that you're supposed to brush and floss your teeth every day, but proper dental hygiene is a little more complicated than that. Even if you think you take great care of your teeth, you may be making mistakes that you don't realize. Here are 10 dental hygiene mistakes that can damage your teeth and gums:

1. Brushing Too Hard

Gentle pressure is more than enough to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Brushing aggressively or putting too much pressure on your teeth can cause your tooth enamel and gums to wear away, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and damage. You should hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth and gently move the brush in circles to clean your teeth.

2. Not Brushing for Long Enough

You should brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes. This lets you spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Most people only brush their teeth for 30 seconds to one minute, which isn't enough time to clear away all the bacteria. Standing at your sink and brushing your teeth can be very boring, so it may seem like several minutes have passed when you've actually only been brushing for one minute. Try setting a timer to make sure you actually brush your teeth for the necessary amount of time.

3. Using the Wrong Toothbrush

Everyone should stick to a soft bristled brush. As long as you brush properly and for the right amount of time, a soft bristled brush will effectively clean your teeth. Hard bristle brushes are harsh on your tooth enamel and can cause your gums to recede. When your gums wear away, they expose parts of your teeth that aren't as resistant to decay.

4. Brushing Too Frequently

When it comes to brushing your teeth, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Brushing two or three times per day should be plenty to keep your teeth clean, and over-brushing can hurt your gums and enamel. If you brush numerous times per day because you get a bad taste in your mouth, try chewing sugar-free gum or eating mints to freshen your breath instead of brushing.

5. Brushing Immediately After Eating

The acids and sugars in your food can temporarily soften your tooth enamel. If you brush during this time, it could wear away the enamel and make your teeth sensitive and susceptible to damage. You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth, especially if you ate something sugary or acidic. You can rinse your mouth with water to clear away some of the residue right after eating, which will help protect your teeth.

6. Neglecting Your Tongue

Your tongue can hold a lot of bacteria, but many people ignore it when brushing their teeth. If bacteria builds up on your tongue, it can easily transfer to your teeth and cause tooth decay. Bacteria on the tongue is also one of the most common causes of bad breath. Brush your tongue thoroughly whenever you brush your teeth, or use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria.

7. Flossing Incorrectly

Not flossing at all is one of the most common dental hygiene mistakes. However, even if you do floss regularly, you might not be flossing correctly. Don't snap the floss into your gums. This can cause soreness, bleeding, and injury. Instead, gently slide the floss in a zigzag motion between your teeth. Curve the floss around your tooth to reach all of the bacteria between your teeth and at your gums.

8. Using Mouthwash Too Much or Not Enough

Sometimes, bacteria gets into nooks and crannies in your mouth that even dental floss can't reach. Mouthwash is an effective way to remove this bacteria, and it disinfects your entire mouth. You should use mouthwash once or twice per day before you brush and floss. Like brushing, though, it's possible to overuse mouthwash. Using it too frequently can dry out the mucous membranes in the mouth, which prevents them from making enough saliva. Your mouth needs saliva to fight off bacteria, so excessive mouthwash can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

9. Drinking Juice

It's common knowledge that sugary drinks are bad for your teeth. Many people think this only applies to soft drinks, so they may try to switch soda with juice to be healthier. While juice does contain more vitamins than soda, most types contain the same amount of sugar, so they're just as bad for your teeth. Orange juice can be especially damaging because the acidity can wear down your tooth enamel. You don't have to completely give up all soft drinks and juice, but you should limit your consumption.

10. Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking water helps to rinse bacteria and food particles out of your mouth. If you don't drink enough, you may get dry mouth, which makes it very easy for bacteria to grow on your teeth and tongue. Dry mouth becomes more and more common as you age, so older people should be especially careful to drink plenty of water.

King of Prussia Periodontics and Dental Implants provides a wide range of dental services, including cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Marissa Cruz, Dr. Mana Nejadi, and Dr. Rimple Sandhu all have years of experience with surgical and nonsurgical dental treatments.

Disclaimer: This article is contributed by a Guest Blogger. Ping of Health does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this article. Ping of Health disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.