Taking care of your teeth isn’t necessarily fun, but it is essential to your oral health. Unfortunately, many people let their daily lives get in the way of establishing a healthy oral hygiene routine, or they simply don’t understand the proper way to care for their mouths and gums.
Below are some of the most common oral hygiene mistakes people make and suggestions for fixing them.
1. Forgetting to brush or only brushing once a day.
It can be easy to forget to brush your teeth. After all, you’re busy, right? But carving out just a few minutes a day to brush your teeth is the single best way to protect your oral health. If you don’t, sugars left behind by food can cause bacteria buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.
If you have trouble remembering to brush your teeth, set alarms to help you remember. And while brushing your teeth once a day is certainly better than nothing, you really need to brush once in the morning and once at night to keep your mouth healthy.
2. Not brushing long enough.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is the goal, but it doesn’t do much good if you don’t give your teeth the attention they need. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your brushing routine, you need to brush for at least two minutes.
The easiest way to hit this goal is by setting a timer on your phone to help you keep track of time. You can also make this task a little easier by mentally diving your mouth into four quadrants and spending 30 seconds on each section. And don’t forget to brush your tongue as well!
3. Forgetting to floss.
Let’s face it, flossing can be a bit of a pain. That said, flossing is a major part of a healthy oral hygiene routine, as it removes bits of food and bacteria that build up in between teeth where a toothbrush may not be able to reach.
Flossing can be made a little easier with the help of floss picks and water flossers, although these methods are not quite as effective as a traditional piece of string floss. And remember, don’t be discouraged by the sight of a little blood while flossing. Unhealthy gums are prone to bleeding. By flossing, you’re improving your gum health and, after enough dedication to your routine, you should reach a point where you no longer see blood while flossing.
4. Replacing your brushing and flossing routine with mouthwash.
While a good fluoride mouthwash can be a great addition to your oral health routine, it is in no way an effective substitute for brushing and flossing, as it’s not an effective method of removing oral debris.
When it comes to mouthwash, it’s best to stick to your brushing and flossing routine and use the mouthwash as a rinse afterward.
5. Buying products without an ADA seal.
Your teeth deserve the best, so it’s a good idea to avoid buying whatever toothpaste is on sale or whatever product looks effective because of its packaging. Instead, look for the American Dental Association seal before purchasing any oral health product.
Items with the ADA seal have undergone rigorous research and testing to ensure that it is effective and has been formulated for optimal oral health. If you’re not sure which oral health products may be right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Salling & Tate.
6. Improper toothbrush use.
There are rules to how to correctly use a toothbrush? You bet there are! First, and maybe most importantly, you need to make sure your toothbrush isn’t too old. A toothbrush that’s frayed or frazzled can cause damage to your gums and teeth, so it’s best to replace your brush or electric toothbrush head every three to four months.
You should also make sure you’re storing your toothbrush in an upright position. This allows water to drain off, which protects your toothbrush from gathering mold or bacteria. Finally, make sure your toothbrush is used by you alone! Never share a toothbrush with anyone else.
7. Avoiding the dentist.
It may be tempting to skip a dental appointment here and there or only visit your dentist when you are in pain, but regular cleanings and dental checkups are a vital part of keeping your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. Scheduling a visit with the team at Salling & Tate every six months allows us to clean your teeth well, take regular x rays, and check for small cavities that could turn into big problems if left untreated.
If it’s been a while since your last dental checkup, why not give us a call at 910-256-9040 to schedule an appointment? Or you can click here to schedule an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you!