10 Oral Hygiene Habits You Need to Break Now

10 Oral Hygiene Habits You Need to Break Now

We all have bad habits. Some of these things we do on a regular basis are not good for us, yet they do little to no harm. Other things can affect your health for the long term and are important to avoid, such as smoking. Below, we look at some oral hygiene habits you should break to ensure your best lifelong oral health.

Brushing Too Hard

Many people believe that you cannot brush too frequently or too hard. But your teeth are not like your linoleum kitchen floor. They need more gentle care as part of daily oral care.

If using a firm bristled toothbrush and heavy pressure when cleaning your teeth is one of your daily oral hygiene habits, it is one to break. Instead, you need a soft toothbrush and to use gentle motion when brushing for two minutes or longer. Keep brushing too hard and you can wear away your tooth enamel. This leads to tooth sensitivity, receding gums and decay. Long story short, brushing too hard is bad for your lifelong oral health.

Using Highly Abrasive Toothpaste

Not all fluoride toothpastes are the same. Some are very abrasive and not appropriate for daily use. This is the case with tartar control pastes and others that feel gritty. If you use gritty toothpaste on a daily basis, it is another of the oral hygiene habits to break. Doing so can save your tooth enamel and prevent the same problems as caused by brushing your teeth too hard.

Skipping the Floss

Did you know that plaque forms in less than 24 hours? This sticky substance that forms on teeth is the top cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing daily plays a big role in removing plaque from between teeth and along your gum line. That makes skipping this important step one of the oral hygiene habits to break.

Drinking Too Much Soda

All carbonated beverages contain erosive phosphoric acid that can damage your tooth enamel. Although it is one of the toughest oral hygiene habits to break, you should stop drinking sodas. If you still crave an occasional diet or regular soft drink, use a straw to reduce its contact with your teeth.

Eating Staining Foods

Your tooth enamel absorbs staining agents from coffee, tea, red wine, tomato sauce and soy sauce. As a result, your smile looks dull and yellowed. Eating too much of these foods, too often is an oral hygiene habit to break. But of course, your Carolina Dental Arts dentist can help you restore bright whiteness to your smile with teeth whitening procedures.

Eating Frequent Snacks

Snacking too often encourages the bacteria in your mouth to keep creating plaque acids throughout the day as they break down your food. It is far better for lifelong oral health if you brush your teeth at least twice daily and skip the sugary or starchy snacks between meals.

Crunching Hard Candies and Opening Bottles with Teeth

We have all seen videos online of people opening bottles with their teeth. Ouch! Using your teeth as tools like this is one of the worst oral hygiene habits to break. The same is true for crunching hard candies, ice, popcorn kernels and other hard foods. You also need to stop using your teeth to untie knots, bite your nails or otherwise do things for which we have tools. These actions can crack, break or otherwise damage your teeth and dental work like fillings.

Ignoring Signs of Trouble

When you first notice signs of problems in your mouth like bleeding gums or persistent bad breath, see your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts. These are early signs of conditions that, like other such signs, can lead to lifelong oral health problems. It makes neglecting your oral health one of the biggest oral hygiene habits to break.

Skipping Dental Visits

You know you should visit the dentist twice yearly for checkups and dental cleanings. Still, many people fall into the trap of bad oral hygiene habits and put off these visits. When you do not go to the dentist often enough, tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems creep in. Because you are not seeing the dentist, they can not help you avoid the need for procedures like root canals or extractions.

Schedule your next visit with Carolina Dental Arts in Goldsboro or Raleigh, NC today.

Neglecting Your Lip Health

Dry and cracked lips make even the healthiest smile look unhealthy. You should pay close attention to your lip skin when you take care of your teeth twice each day. This skin is thinner than the skin on other parts of your body. It is more vulnerable to dryness, sun damage and aging. Use moisturizing lip balm and avoid sun overexposure as part of your focus on lifelong oral health and good oral hygiene habits.