If you aren’t careful, you could be doing some things that really harm your teeth. Here are five common mistakes people make in their oral health routine that seriously harm your teeth.
Using the Wrong Toothbrush
The reason dentists recommend soft bristle toothbrushes is that stiffer bristles damage your gums. Cheaper brushes often have harder bristles, but if you are aware you can consciously buy the softer bristled brush (even if it costs a couple cents more). The reason that being gentle on your gums is so important is that once you lose your gums, they are gone forever (unless you surgically graft more in). Every three months, replace your toothbrush with a new soft-bristled head. Additionally, after a cold or flu, you should replace you toothbrush again.
Abusing the Utility of Your Teeth
Never use your teeth for anything but chewing, smiling, or biting (into food). When you use your teeth to open a bag of pretzels or loosen a tight bottle cap, you risk serious damage to your teeth. Take the time to get scissors, a can opener, or whatever tool you are trying to replace with teeth before you break a tooth. Our Platinum Dental Care dentist in Murray saw a patient who broke their tooth on the lid to a jam container. Had he grabbed another tool, he could have saved hundreds of dollars and an unexpected trip to the dentist.
Flossing Too Little
Studies show that about half of Americans floss daily, 31 percent floss less than that, and 18 percent do not floss at all. It does not matter whether you floss before or after brushing, just find a routine you like best and stick to it. Platinum Dentist Dr. Chavez, a dentist in Provo, recommends flossers to patients who struggle to floss, saying they make flossing easier and cost only a little more than regular dental floss.
Not using a fitted mouth guard
High contact sports can really hurt your teeth if you aren’t careful. Many athletes use mouth guards that fit poorly and fall out of the mouth easily. Vulnerable, unprotected teeth are likely to get caught in basketball nets, hit by baseballs, and smashed on the ice. Get a professional-grade mouth guard that fits tight to your teeth and you will avoid the expensive and painful consequences of unprotected teeth.
Eating hidden sugars
Most people are good about rinsing their mouth or brushing after eating candy or other foods they know are sugary. However, be aware of the foods you are eating that may have a lot more sugar than you thought, or didn’t know (fruit leather, crackers, and cereal are common culprits). Protect your teeth against hidden sugars by reading food labels and being aware of what has a lot of sugar, and taking proper precautions when you do eat those sugary foods.
When you have questions about your oral hygiene routine or any other aspect of your dental health, consult your dentist. Also, make sure that you check regular updates from Platinum Dental Care Utah .
The author is Dr. Crozier, a dentist in Layton. He is a proud member of the Platinum Dental Care Community and strong advocate for oral health contributing to a greater quality of life.