Are You Ruining Your Teeth With These Common Mistakes?

Do you brush your teeth regularly? That’s good. But did you know there are other things you may be doing ― or not doing ― that could be affecting your oral hygiene?

When it comes to your teeth and gums, taking care of them is really important. You only have one set, so you should do everything you can to keep them healthy.

In this blog, the team at The Wilhelm Dental Group discusses seven common mistakes people make when it comes to taking care of their teeth.

1. Not flossing

We know. Flossing may not be a ton of fun. It can be frustrating and take a long time, especially if you have braces. But if you don’t floss on a regular basis, your gums may bleed when you do get around to flossing. That’s one of the first signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease. So if you want to keep your gums healthy, floss. And the more you do it, the quicker you’ll get.

2. Storing your toothbrush in an unsanitary manner

Do you haphazardly place your toothbrush on the bathroom counter? Or maybe you brush in the shower and leave it there? You should store your toothbrush properly, because if you don’t, it could come in contact with bacteria on the surfaces it’s put on. You should put your toothbrush in a holder that stores it upright.  

And if you have travel plans, get a travel toothbrush holder, too. You don’t want your toothbrush scraping up germs from the inside of your bag or wherever else it might land. 

3. Keeping your toothbrush too long

How long have you had your toothbrush? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or more often if the bristles become worn and frayed. If you keep your toothbrush too long, you may not get an effective cleaning when you use it. 

4. Brushing too hard

Brushing your teeth too hard can result in enamel erosion and gum recession, both of which can lead to tooth sensitivity and other problems. Make sure you use a soft-bristled brush or an ADA-approved electric toothbrush, which will likely come with soft heads. You can tell if you’re brushing too hard if your bristles become frayed in as little as one or two months, or if you experience increased tooth sensitivity and bleeding. 

5. Not brushing long enough

Not brushing your teeth long enough can affect your oral health. The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth for two minutes. Stopping short of this can prevent you from removing all of the bacteria and debris on your teeth, which can result in plaque buildup and cavities. You should brush for at least 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth ― upper right, lower right, upper left, lower left ― and make sure to brush the front, back, and chewing surface of each tooth. 

7. Skipping your biannual dental cleanings

Many people make the mistake of only seeing their dentist when they are in pain. But to prevent suffering in the first place ― and keep your teeth clean and white ― you should see your dentist for a cleaning and checkup every six months.

If you’re due for a cleaning or just want to learn more about oral hygiene, book an appointment  over the phone with The Wilhelm Dental Group today.

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