11 Common Oral Hygiene Mistakes
Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 12-04-2023
We all know that our oral health is important. It's vital to care for our teeth and gums to avoid cavities, disease, and tooth loss. However, oral hygiene mistakes are catastrophically common.
These small mistakes can cause serious issues for our patients in Milton over time.
Mistake #1: Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
It's a commonly held belief: the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be. Right? Wrong.
Brushing your teeth too hard leads to gum recession and enamel abrasion. Eventually, you will start to experience increased sensitivity and damage to the structure of your teeth. It isn't easy to replace tooth enamel, so once it's gone, it's gone.
Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently to avoid irreparable damage to your enamel. Move the brush softly in circular movements at a 45-degree angle across the surface of your teeth. This technique is enough to remove any plaque and food particles.
A clear sign that you're brushing too hard is if the bristles of your toothbrush are bent and frayed after a few weeks. Toothbrushes should last 3-4 months.
Mistake #2: Not Brushing for Long Enough
It would be best if you didn't cut corners regarding your oral health. Brushing your teeth for an adequate amount of time is essential for removing the plaque, tartar, and biofilms stuck to the tooth surface. Over time, this negligence can cause gum inflammation, bad breath, and cavities.
Additionally, you're far more likely to miss your back teeth when hurrying. When this happens, cavities and tooth decay can follow.
Ultimately, rushing through brushing your teeth is barely better than not brushing at all. Ensure that you brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day.
Mistake #3: Only Brushing in the Morning
No one likes morning breath. Brushing your teeth first thing in the morning is essential to curbing that unfortunate bad breath but don't forget to brush your teeth before you climb into bed at the end of the day.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should be brushing in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before you sleep.
Brushing at night is especially important, as over the course of the day, food debris and sugars stick to your teeth. When you forget to brush, the bacteria in your mouth consume these particles, creating an acidic secretion.
This acid then decays your teeth. Plaque and tartar will also solidify.
Mistake #4: Brushing More Than Twice a Day
Although you need to brush your teeth twice a day, you shouldn't be brushing your teeth more than that.
Excessively brushing your teeth has the same effect as brushing too aggressively; you can erode the enamel on your teeth and damage your enamel. Stick to twice a day instead.
Mistake #5: Using an Old Toothbrush
You should replace your old toothbrush every three to four months. The bristles no longer provide an effective clean once they're frayed, bent, rough, and worn down.
Old toothbrushes are also crawling with bacteria, which are transported into your mouth every time you brush. These germs can lead to infections and gum recession.
Mistake #6: Brushing After Meals
Brushing your teeth immediately after a meal can damage your precious enamel. As you eat, the mouth fills with saliva containing enzymes and acids to help break down your food.
Your tooth enamel softens, making it vulnerable to brushing. It's easy to damage your teeth in this state.
Consequently, always wait 30 minutes after a meal before brushing your teeth. If you want that fresh feeling, try swishing water around your mouth.
Mistake #7: Ignoring Your Tongue and Gums
Your teeth aren't the only things that require cleaning. Other areas of your mouth also carry bacteria that must be gently removed daily.
Next time you brush your teeth, remember to brush your tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth.
Mistake #8: Using the Wrong Toothpaste
It's essential to pick toothpaste approved by the Canadian Dental Association. This stamp of approval proves that the toothpaste does what it claims and contains the necessary ingredients for a healthy and cavity-free mouth.
For example, toothpaste should contain fluoride. Fluoride is an essential ingredient that helps to prevent tooth decay and reduce tooth sensitivity.
Mistake #9: Replacing Flossing with Mouthwash
Mouthwash is not a replacement for flossing. You should use mouthwash to supplement your oral hygiene routine, not replace a crucial step. Although mouthwash disinfects your mouth, it doesn't effectively remove the food debris between and around your teeth.
Only brushing and flossing can do that.
Mistake #10: Not Flossing Because You See Blood
The sight of blood is enough to make many people stop flossing for good. However, bleeding is not a sign that you should abandon flossing. It's actually the opposite.
Poor oral hygiene, caused by improper brushing and a lack of flossing, leads to unhealthy gums. They become sensitive and more prone to bleeding when touched.
Consequently, your gums are more likely to bleed when you try to floss after a period of neglect. The more you floss, the less your gums will bleed. And your mouth will become healthier in the process.
Mistake #11: Waiting Until You're in Pain to Visit Your Dentist
Preventative care is the best way to preserve your oral health. You want to avoid cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other severe issues- and the best way to do that is with a rigorous oral hygiene regimen and regular visits to your dentist.
Many serious oral health problems don't cause pain immediately, making them almost impossible to catch at an early stage if you skip your dental appointments. Treating a minor issue is much easier, faster, and cheaper than a big one. Treatments tend to be less invasive, which is something to remember if surgeries make you squeamish.
You should visit your dentist for a regular checkup every six months. Your dentist will clean your mouth, removing any plaque and tartar buildup. They will also check for developing problems, like cavities or gum disease.
Contact Milltown Dental for Dental Cleaning Services in Milton
Milltown Dental in Milton provides dental cleaning services for all patients. Although most patients should have a professional dental cleaning twice a year, those with signs of gum disease should come in every 3-4 months.
During your dental checkup, we remove all tartar, plaque, and stains. We also screen for leases, evaluate your periodontal health, and examine all teeth for signs of decay.
Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of dental services in Milton.
To learn more about our dental services in Milton, call Milltown Dental at (833) 318-3281 or contact us here.