Common Mistakes People Make With Their Oral Hygiene (And How to Avoid Them)

Good oral hygiene may seem pretty simple – you probably think it’s as easy as brushing a couple times a day and flossing once. However, general dentistry professionals will tell you that it’s not really that easy. Many people make some common mistakes that can impact their oral health. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common oral hygiene mistakes and information on how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1 – Failing to Brush Your Tongue

It’s not enough to just brush your teeth if you’re worried about good oral hygiene. You also need to make sure that you are brushing your tongue. All the grooves and bumps on your tongue hold quite a bit of bacteria. If you don’t brush your tongue, that bacteria can end up on teeth, resulting in tooth decay. Brush your tongue a bit or use a tongue scraper to eliminate bacteria every time you brush to prevent this problem.


Mistake #2 – Brushing Teeth Too Hard

Brushing your teeth harder isn’t better. In fact, brushing teeth too hard can be bad for your teeth and gums. Brushing too vigorously can result in gum irritation, eventually causing the gums to recede. Over brushing also has the ability to damage the enamel of your teeth, which increases your risk of tooth decay. Brush gently and in circles while aiming bristles at a 45-degree angle for the best results.


Mistake #3 – Brushing Teeth Too Soon After Eating

Don’t make the mistake of heading directly to the sink to brush right after you eat. This is especially a problem if you just ate a meal that included acidic foods. Acidic foods weaken your tooth enamel for a bit after you eat. When you brush right after eating, you can scratch and wear away tooth enamel. It’s a better choice to wait for 30 minutes after you eat before you brush.


Mistake #4 – Not Brushing Teeth Long Enough

Many people make the oral hygiene mistake of not brushing their teeth long enough. While you don’t want to over brush teeth or brush too vigorously, you need to make sure that you are brushing long enough. You should be brushing for at least two minutes, but make sure you do so using a soft-bristle toothbrush.


Mistake #5 – Snapping the Floss

Flossing your teeth is important, but you should not be snapping the floss in between teeth when you floss. How you floss is important, and snapping the floss between the teeth may harm your gums. Make sure that you gently pull the floss between teeth, using a back and forth motion to get it to slip between teeth.

It’s important to always pay attention to how you take care of your mouth. The teeth you have are the teeth you keep. But in case you aren’t sure you are doing the best job, you can always visit a local dentist’s office who would be happy to help with any question you might have.

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