Caring for our teeth is not rocket science, but the reality is many of us don’t do it right or slip into routines that can increase the risk of cavities or gum disease. The most common mistake is vigorous brushing or using excessive force when cleaning teeth, along with a firm-bristled toothbrush. This could not just damage your teeth, but also make your gums bleed and wear away the enamel.
Aggressive brushing, however, is not the only slip up that could compromise your oral health. Here are a few other dental care mistakes that you might be guilty of:
Multitasking while brushing teeth
Brushing while doing other things (like watching a video or scrolling down through your news or Twitter feed) can distract you from doing a thorough job. General dentists in Sandy also note that multitasking may cause you to brush aggressively and miss various surfaces of the teeth.
If you want to get the full benefits of brushing, you need to do it right and be focused. This means brushing the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces the teeth using gentle strokes. You can also use a mirror to make sure that you are brushing all the surfaces.
Relying on the web for dental concerns
The Internet may offer some helpful articles, but you shouldn’t count on it when dealing with dental issues. If you, for instance, need to close gaps between your teeth, avoid resorting to DIY orthodontics to save money. This technique can do more harm than good.
This is also the same for other dental procedures like extraction, filling, or whitening. Any procedure that requires skill and knowledge should only be carried by a professional. While there may be videos and detailed how-to articles online, the consequences are just not worth it.
Not wearing your retainers
If you had braces, you need to wear a retainer according to your dentist’s recommendation. This is especially true in the first few months, as the bone around your teeth are getting used to the new position and can shift easily without retainers.
It is also good to know that retainers don’t just keep your teeth from shifting; they can also prevent wearing down of teeth, especially if grind your teeth at night. Ditching them may cause your teeth to move, which may then require you to wear braces again.
Cleaning your toothbrush excessively
It is true that toothbrushes harbor bacteria, but there is no evidence that you could get sick from using your toothbrush. This is why there is no need to use drastic measures like putting it in the dishwasher or microwave. Doing so can only damage your toothbrush.
Rinsing it with tap water and letting it air dry is usually enough. You can also choose to soak it in an antibacterial mouthwash (it won’t damage the brush), although the American Dental Association (ADA) notes that there is no evidence that it has a positive effect. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush after three to four months or sooner if the bristles are worn out.
Pay enough attention to your oral hygiene. Be sure to see your dentist at least every two weeks for regular exams and cleaning.