By the time you’re an adult, you’ve logged a significant amount of hours into brushing and flossing your teeth. However, proper brushing and flossing only go so far when your diet and other oral habits are lacking. Adults make many common mistakes when it comes to the care of their teeth and gums, which is why it’s vital to stay up to date on the best oral health practices.
Here are the top five oral health mistakes adults make and what you can do to avoid them while taking excellent care of your teeth and gums.
#1: Skipping the Dentist Because Your Teeth Feel Fine
Even if you take exceptional care of your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day, you’re still susceptible to developing cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. People can have no apparent symptoms that anything may be wrong; however, you should still take the time to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist twice a year.
Stubborn plaque and tartar build-up can only be thoroughly removed by a dental hygienist and with the proper tools. Even regular brushing and flossing can’t reach every space in your mouth, and getting your teeth cleaned regularly will prevent tooth decay and other potential issues that you cannot entirely prevent at home.
No indication of pain or discomfort does not always mean a dental problem isn’t there. Suppose you wait to visit your dentist until you’re experiencing pain and discomfort. In that case, you may be experiencing a problem that could have been much smaller and easily treatable that your dentist could have caught early at an exam. Taking basic steps helps to keep your mouth as healthy as possible with preventative treatments.
#2: Using a Mouthrinse To Avoid Flossing
Even patients who are highly diligent about brushing their teeth and using a mouth rinse still need to floss. Cleaning your teeth with floss is an essential step for removing plaque from between your teeth and preventing cavities and gum disease. Flossing only adds an extra minute to your home dental regimen, and it’s the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and bacteria-free.
#3: Using Bad Technique When Brushing
Using too much force when you brush or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can cause substantial damage to tooth enamel and the gum line. Remember always to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and use gentle motions when brushing your teeth. Use caution when brushing along the gumline and be mindful of the sensitive tissue.
#4: Using the Wrong Type of Mouthwash
Choosing the right mouthwash for your dental needs is a critical piece in making your efforts pay off. There are several different types of mouthwashes available, so choose the right one for your teeth. Your dentist can make a personalized recommendation at your next exam.
A cosmetic rinse will merely control bad breath and leave you with a pleasant taste in your mouth.
With ingredients like antimicrobial agents and fluoride, using a therapeutic rinse can help reduce gingivitis, prevent cavities, reduce plaque build-up, and help treat the causes of bad breath.
Using a rinse with an alcohol base can be harsh on your teeth and gums.
#5: Falling For Tooth-Destroying Fads
There are plenty of fad diets and misinformation out there on what is healthy and what’s not. Just because something seems healthy for your body doesn’t make it safe.
Everyone loves the juicing trend because of its many benefits. Whether it’s a juice you’ve made from local fruits and vegetables or a bottle you picked up at the health food store, juicing can be hard on your tooth enamel. While they may be packed with vitamins and other nutrients, fresh juices also bathe your teeth with harmful ingredients like enamel destroying citrus acids and sugars. If you’re going to juice, do everything you can to protect your teeth by using a straw, drinking the juice quickly, and rinsing your mouth with water after you’ve finished. We also recommend brushing your teeth 30 minutes after finishing the juice to avoid cavities.
Fad diets are full of misinformation. If a diet is based on foods from the frozen aisle, chances are these packaged meals are also full of starches, preservatives, and sugar. Consuming items like protein bars can also damage your teeth because these bars are often sweetened for taste with sugar, and they stick to your teeth while chewing. Fresh is best for your overall health for your body and the overall health of your teeth.
If you have questions about how your oral hygiene practices and dietary choices are affecting the overall health of your teeth, ask Hinsdale Dentistry for an evaluation at your next exam.