These seven bad habits can promote plaque, injure your teeth, and worsen your dental hygiene. Break them today to improve your dental health.
You know there are ways to actively improve your dental health, but ever think about how you could worsen it accidentally? Unfortunately, there are many everyday activities that could seriously damage your teeth and gums. Here are seven bad dental hygiene habits, and how to go about breaking them for good.
What are these seven bad dental hygiene habits?
Brushing too hard: Using a firm toothbrush and applying lots of pressure while brushing can permanently wear down enamel. This could cause cavities, tooth sensitivity and receding gums.
Use gentle, circular motions to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Consider using an electric toothbrush, which can prevent overbrushing.
Not flossing regularly: Flossing is a critical step in preventing plaque build-up. Since bacteria on your teeth could develop into plaque within 24 hours, it’s critical to floss at least once a day if not more often.
Work on building flossing into your everyday routine — put a note by your toothbrush, set an alarm on your phone, and keep your floss visible as a reminder.
Drinking a lot of soda and other sugary drinks: Sweet treats and soft drinks are loaded with sugar, leaving behind a coat of acid on enamel. This can lead to tooth decay, cavities, stains, and other issues.
Stick to sugar-free drinks whenever possible. Water is the best option for your dental hygiene and your overall health!
Snacking on unhealthy foods: Hard candies like caramel, frozen candy bars, or even ice cubes can damage and break your teeth. Meanwhile, chewy snacks like gummies can get stuck in your teeth and promote bacteria growth.
Eat sweets with meals instead of as separate snacks. Your mouth produces more saliva when you eat meals, which helps rinse away sticky and sugary residue. If you’re craving a snack, eat raw and firm vegetables or fruits — as opposed to unhealthier options, these foods could help deter plaque.
Using your teeth as tools: While it may seem easier than grabbing a tool, using your teeth instead can cause your teeth to chip or crack. You could even damage existing fillers and other dental work.
Use your hands, a bottle opener, scissors, a strong friend, or another tool to open something difficult. It’s not worth the risk.
Smoking or chewing tobacco: Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products can stain your teeth, cause gum and periodontal disease, and even cause decay to the point of tooth loss.
Create a plan to quit with your doctor, dentist, or another health advisor. While nicotine gum is bad for your health, sugar-free gum can help with the oral fixation.
Avoiding the dentist: Not only does this mean your teeth won’t be properly cleaned, but also means dental issues will go undetected and worsen exponentially. It’s critical to go to the dentist regularly in order to clean your teeth, examine your dental health, and address any issues before permanent damage.
Go to the dentist at least twice a year, and try to schedule your next dentist appointment as soon as your previous one is done.
Breaking Bad Dental Habits
It can be hard to break these everyday habits that negatively affect dental hygiene. Let Espire Dental give you a hand! Our friendly and experienced staff members will make sure your teeth are healthy, and we’ll help you improve your dental health on a day-to-day basis. If you’re in or near the Norman Oklahoma area, you can request an appointment today or call our Norman Espire office at (405) 217-0843 for a beautiful smile, inside and out.