Are You Making These Dental Mistakes? How Regular Exams and Cleanings Can Help

Are You Making These Dental Mistakes? How Regular Exams and Cleanings Can Help

May 01, 2023

Despite brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you might still struggle with dental problems like tooth sensitivity, decay, gum recession, or gum disease. As surprising as it might sound, your oral issues might be associated with poor oral hygiene practices that you may have been doing unknowingly.

In this guide, let’s discuss common dental mistakes people make, the importance of routine dental and cleanings, and other tips for maintaining optimal oral health.

Common Dental Mistakes

  • Aggressive brushing

While brushing harder might feel like the best way to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly, that’s not the case. Regular aggressive teeth brushing can wear down your enamel significantly, making you more susceptible to teeth sensitivity, decay, and fracture.

Similarly, vigorous brushing irritates and hurts your gums, putting you at a greater risk of gum recession and gum disease. To brush correctly, lightly press the toothbrush against the teeth and gently move or brush back and forth.

  • Using abrasive oral products

A hard-bristled toothbrush might seem perfect for removing the most stubborn debris and plaque from the teeth, but it doesn’t work that way. Hard bristles will wear down your enamel, significantly weakening your teeth. They can also hurt your gums, causing them to bleed and swell. A good toothbrush should have strong but soft bristles. Get an electric toothbrush, which is more efficient than manual ones.

When it comes to toothpaste and mouthwashes, avoid products with abrasive ingredients like alcohol, as they can erode your teeth, making you more susceptible to dental damage. Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes are highly recommended to help remineralize and strengthen your teeth. Consult your dentist about the best oral products for you.

  • Not flossing daily

Like brushing, flossing should be a part of your daily dental hygiene routine. Flossing helps remove trapped food particles, plaque, and other debris from deep between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.

It reduces plaque buildup and lowers your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. When flossing, don’t just pay attention to the front side of the teeth. Put more emphasis on the back side of the teeth as they are more vulnerable to decay.

  • Brushing too fast

A study by the Academy of General Dentistry showed that an average person brushes their teeth for about 45-70 seconds. Unfortunately, that might be enough to eliminate all the food debris and pathogens trapped in your mouth. It leaves you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. Dental experts recommend brushing your teeth twice daily, at least two minutes at a time.

  • Brushing at the wrong time

While it’s advisable to brush your teeth after eating, brushing immediately after taking foods with low pH (acidic foods) can wear down your enamel significantly.

Acidic foods soften your enamel, making it more susceptible to erosion. Dental experts recommend brushing for at least 30 minutes after taking acidic items. You can rinse your mouth with water to remove debris and ease the taste or smell as you wait.

  • Using your teeth as a tool

Using your teeth to cut nails, open packages, or chew on ice or pens can easily cause your teeth to wear down, chip, break, or even fall off. Avoiding chewing on hard food and non-food items will lower your risk of dental damage.

  • Ignoring warning signs

Signs like bleeding gums, teeth sensitivity, mouth sores, tooth pain, or oral thrush often indicate that something is wrong, and you need to see your family dentist or visit a dental office next to you right away. Ignoring these signs or delaying professional dental care makes the problems worse, eventually causing the need for more extensive and costly dental treatments.

The Benefits of Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings

You should see your dentist at least twice yearly for dental exams and cleanings as part of your oral hygiene practices. These appointments allow your dentist to examine your mouth for potential problems like tooth decay, teeth erosion, oral cancer, gum recession, gum disease, and poor bite. Early diagnosis of oral issues allows for early treatment and helps prevent future complications.

Our Rifle dentist also cleans your teeth to remove bacterial plaque and tartar buildup on teeth and around the gum line. It lowers your risk of oral infections, freshens your breath, and brightens your smile.

Tips for Maintaining Good Dental Health

Below are practical tips on maintaining a clean and healthy mouth:

  • Drink fluoridated water
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and get routine fluoride treatments
  • Brush your teeth gently and thoroughly twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Visit your local dentist for routine dental checkups and cleanings
  • Avoid or limit tobacco or alcoholic products
  • Manage pre-existing health conditions like diabetes
  • Seek prompt treatment for oral problems
  • Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
  • Always stay hydrated

Are you ready to schedule an appointment?

For more information about dental hygiene and professional care, contact Rifle Dental Care.