Your dental hygiene routine is like second nature to you, right? You brush twice per day, floss every night, and even use mouthwash. However, you might not realize that there are a few common dental care mistakes that many people make on a regular basis! To make sure you’re keeping your oral health in great condition, be certain that you’re not exhibiting any of these harmful dental care habits.
1. Using Toothpicks
Sure, you may use toothpicks at restaurants every now and then to remove food from your teeth, but we don’t recommend making this a regular habit. Toothpicks have a tendency to splinter, damaging your gums and making them bleed. They also don’t thoroughly remove the plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, so they are a poor substitute for flossing. It would be much more beneficial to carry dental floss around with you!
2. Brushing Right After Coffee
We know your instinct is to brush immediately after eating and drinking, and oftentimes this is a great idea. However, when you drink acidic beverages like coffee, brushing immediately afterwards could do more harm than good. The acid in coffee can weaken your enamel, which then wears away when you brush your teeth. Instead, we recommend chewing sugar-free gum to help fight coffee stains.
3. Brushing Too Vigorously
Did you know that it is possible to brush too hard or for too long? In fact, doing so can damage your dental enamel and even cause your gums to recede. Remember: plaque is soft and quite easy to remove, so it only requires a light brushing to effectively protect your teeth. Make sure that you purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush as well to save your teeth from the effects of over-brushing.
4. Not Replacing Your Toothbrush
Do you remember the last time you swapped out your toothbrush? According to the American Dental Association, if you haven’t done so in the last three months, then it may be time to run to the store. Replacing your toothbrush regularly ensures that you’re brushing effectively and protecting your teeth from harmful bacteria that builds up on your toothbrush over time. If you’re not certain if it is time to replace your toothbrush, simply examine the bristles. If they’re looking frayed, then they are likely not doing a great job at cleaning your teeth and therefore you should replace it.
Do you want to make sure your teeth and gums are in great condition? Call Advanced Family Dental & Orthodontics today to schedule your next routine check-up and teeth cleaning!