6 Mistakes People Make When It Comes To Their Dental Hygiene

dental hygien mistakes people make - bridge creek dental

When it comes to dental hygiene, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. Some of these myths are old wives tales that have been passed down, while others are a direct result of misleading advertising.

If you have been worried that your dental hygiene isn’t quite up to par, our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental want to tell you all about the six most common mistakes people make when it comes to dental hygiene. That way, you can avoid them in the future and enjoy a healthier smile.

1. Buying Unproven Toothpastes From Ads

How many of us have seen an ad for toothpaste, whether on Facebook, Instagram or even in our local coupon saver, that promises major whitening results? Most of these ads also usually show “before and after” pictures of supposed users of the toothpaste, making it seem more credible, even though you may have never heard of the maker of the toothpaste.

Unfornetly, these kinds of toothpaste are often at best ineffective, and at worst, can damage your teeth. As these types of toothpaste can be labeled as a cosmetic product, they don’t have to contain the helpful ingredients found in regular toothpaste. In fact, some of the charcoal toothpaste can be very abrasive and erode your enamel, leaving your teeth more yellow as more dentin is exposed.

If you are unsure what toothpaste will work well for you, it is best that you opt for a toothpaste with fluoride, as that mineral can help strengthen your teeth and fights tooth decay.

2. Scrubbing At Teeth To Make Them “Cleaner” and “Whiter”

Even if you are using the right toothpaste, you may be brushing your teeth too hard. When we think of cleaning a surface, usually scrubbing yields better results. But, since your teeth aren’t a dirty kitchen floor, you don’t need to be tough on them.

By scrubbing at your teeth, you are far more likely to damage the enamel, which can make your teeth more prone to catch food particles and retain stains. If you are concerned about lightening stained teeth, our dentists do offer professional teeth whitening as one of our dental services.

Also, make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth. Harder bristles don’t mean cleaner teeth. Instead, hard bristles are far more likely to damage your teeth and erode the enamel. So, be sure you stick to soft-bristle toothbrushes.

3. Consuming Sugary Foods And Drinks Too Often

You may not think it, but your teeth are better off if you chug a sugary drink than if you sip on it for hours. What many people don’t realize when it comes to sugar, it is how often you are consuming it which can affect your teeth, not how much.

While it isn’t great for your overall health to pound down sugary foods and drinks, the longer you expose your teeth to sugar, the more you give fuel to bacteria to eat and emit enamel-eroding acid, leading to tooth decay. Do your best to cut down on your sugar intake and stick more to neutral pH liquids like water.

4. Waiting To Take Children To The Dentist

Once a child turns a year old, it’s time for their first visit to the dentist. Sometimes, people may think that just because baby teeth are eventually replaced, children may not need as serious dental care as adults. However, good dental hygiene starts young.

For one thing, children can still suffer from cavities and oral infections without proper care, leaving them in pain and very ill in some cases. So, it is critical that parents help their children develop good oral hygiene early on in life.

As for the early dental visits, the sooner children see our dentists as just another part of taking care of their health, the less fear the dentists’ office will hold for them. But if parents only bring their children in when there is something very wrong with their teeth, it will be easy for children to associate the dentist with fear and discomfort.

5. Brushing Directly After Vomiting

It is a natural impulse to want to brush your teeth immediately after you vomit. However, this isn’t good for your teeth. As your stomach acid has already hit your teeth, you can weaken the enamel further by brushing them. But don’t worry, there is something you can do to clean your mouth after vomiting.

Take eight ounces of water and mix in 1 tsp of baking soda. Rinse your mouth out with this mix, but do not swallow. The combination of water and baking soda will help neutralize the remaining acid on your teeth. If you don’t have baking soda, you can always just use plain water. After an hour, you can then gently brush your teeth.

6. Chewing The Wrong Gum

Plenty of people like to chew gum, but not all types of gum are created equally. Rather than mashing a sugary gum against your teeth and leaving food for harmful bacteria, you should chew gum with xylitol.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute, and it actually helps improve your dental help! The bacteria Streptococcus mutans is the leading bacteria which causes tooth decay, and when it tries to ingest xylitol, the bacteria are unable to eat any glucose, which keeps it from secreting acid onto your teeth and causing tooth decay.

If you have specific concerns about your dental hygiene or just need to make your biannual appointment for a dental cleaning, contact us for an appointment today!

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