Making sure your teeth last you your whole life is a long term investment that takes only a few simple steps a day. However, many people fall into some simple pitfalls when it comes to preserving their oral hygiene. Here are seven things to avoid to make sure your teeth are strong, clean, and healthy for years to come.
1. Not Brushing Enough
While most people know that you are supposed to brush your teeth twice daily, the average adult fails to do so. This can lead to plaque and bacterial build up, which in turn leads to enamel decay and cavity development. Brushing your teeth twice daily, or after a meal that is high in sugar, allows your teeth to stay protected against decay, and can increase the longevity of your smile.
2. Incorrect Brushing
Failure to brush your teeth correctly can lead to dental issues, such as periodontal disease. You should brush your teeth, front and back, with a fluoride toothpaste using a circular motion. Brushing too hard can cause gum recession, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. The correct amount of pressure on the surface of your teeth should remove any plaque or stuck foodstuffs, but shouldn’t cause gum redness or bleeding.
3. The Wrong Toothbrush
Many times patients do not realize that there are different kinds of toothbrushes. Talk to your dentist about the right kind of toothbrush for you. Whether you need a soft or a regular toothbrush can depend on the sensitivity of your gums and teeth, and the frequency of plaque build up. Using the wrong toothbrush can cause irritation or abnormal plaque deposits on your teeth.
4. Not Replacing Your Toothbrush
Much like makeup brushes and dish sponges, toothbrushes need to be replaced regularly for your health. If the bristles on your brush are falling out, or are splayed out to the sides, it might be time for a new toothbrush. Some brands of toothbrushes offer indicator bristles that let you know when it’s time to pick up a fresh toothbrush.
5. Not Flossing
Everyone has been asked by their dentist at least once if they floss, and for good reason! Flossing is a crucial part of dental care, as it can help remove trapped plaque and food deposits from hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, protecting you from unseen cavities. While flossing may seem like a hassle to some, it is crucial to making sure your teeth stay clean and strong.
6. Too Much Sugar
While a little sugar never hurt anyone, too much sugar in your diet can wreak havoc on your teeth. Sugar is the favorite food of bacteria, which in turn causes dental decay. Too much sugar can upset the balance of your oral health and leave you open to potential cavities and tooth decay. While you don’t have to cut out sugar entirely, be conscious of how much you consume, and make sure to brush your teeth extra well after that slice of chocolate cake.
7. Not Visiting A Dentist
Those annual dental visits aren’t just because your dental team misses your smiling face. Regular cleanings are key to keeping your smile healthy, and identifying dental issues before they become more serious. If you’re overdue for a check up, contact our team at Crossland Dental Associates in Mount Pleasant, SC to help get your dental health back on track.