Common Oral Hygiene Mistakes
Sometimes in life, as they say, mistakes happen. A wrong turn, a typo – they’re no big deal in the grand scheme of things. But when it comes to oral health mistakes, what may seem like no big deal can turn out to be the opposite: a very big, bad deal to your teeth and gums. Even if you think you’re doing everything right, keep reading and make sure you’re not making some of these common oral health mistakes. It could save your smile – and your life.
There are many reasons people don’t floss their teeth. Some think it's not necessary because their teeth touch, but that’s not true. The truth is, we should be flossing every visible surface (e.g. the surfaces not hidden by the gums) every single day. You might think you can’t get plaque and bacteria in between your teeth, but you can. Not only that, but ignoring flossing leaves your teeth only about 70 percent clean, even if your brushing game is on point.
The good news is it's never too late to start flossing, and keeping your gums healthy can help prevent periodontal disease, which has been found to cause or contribute to everything from diabetes to cancer. So flossing your teeth can literally save your life. If you do start flossing, don’t get discouraged by bleeding gums at first. This should clear up within a week or so of regular flossing, but if it doesn’t, contact Dr. Abelar’s office to set up an appointment.
Only Brushing Once a Day
Studies have shown that many Americans only brush their teeth once a day! In fact, nearly 50 percent of men and nearly 60 percent of women report only brushing once a day. But only brushing once is simply not enough. That’s because as we eat throughout the day, plaque builds up and bacteria snack on that plaque, causing cavities.
Not Brushing Your Tongue
The tongue is arguably the most important muscle in the body, because not only does it help us speak, but it also helps us eat. Unfortunately, the tongue also harbors a ton of bacteria, including the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. When we neglect our tongue, we are inviting that very bacteria back onto our clean teeth, so when you brush, be sure to brush or scrape your tongue!
Brushing Too Hard
The harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth, right? Wrong! Brushing harder isn’t smarter - it can actually damage your tooth enamel. That’s why you should not only use a medium or soft-bristled toothbrush, but also don’t brush too hard or brush your gums, as this can cause your gums to recede.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call 858-866-9692.