9 Common Oral Hygiene Mistakes We See in Salt Lake City
We often see patients come in with small cavities or are in the early stages of gum disease. With the right oral hygiene, patients can avoid the small problems that often end up becoming major issues. Here are nine common oral health mistakes you are probably making:
Forgetting to Brush
What happens when you forget to brush your teeth? Failure to brush on a daily basis leads to problems with tooth decay and gum disease. In just one day, there can be a significant amount of bacteria in the mouth that begins to build up around the teeth and can infect the gums. The teeth are vulnerable to decay overnight as carbohydrates leave behind sugars in the mouth, which quickly eat away at the enamel of teeth. If you commonly forget to brush, set an alarm on your phone so you remember to brush morning and night. Drink plenty of water after eating and drinking as it helps to flush sugars out of the mouth, and reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Changing Your Toothbrush
How often do you change your toothbrush? A toothbrush scrubs away a lot of bacteria, but there is a good chance a lot of bacteria sticks to the bristles of an older toothbrush. At Avenues Dentistry, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. We will happily provide you with a new toothbrush at your next dental cleaning!
How often do you remember to floss? Daily flossing is a must to remove bacteria and excess food from the mouth. Food becomes stuck between the teeth, and it will increase the likelihood that you will have cavities in these areas.
Storing Your Toothbrush
Where are you keeping your toothbrush? If you toss it into a drawer, its picking up bacteria! Use a holder to store your toothbrush upright so the water drips off, and to ensure it has access to air to dry out.
Not Using Fluoride
We see a number of patients ditching traditional toothpaste for homemade or “natural” toothpastes. While some of these toothpastes are great for your gums, they aren’t effective for proper oral health. Natural toothpastes often have hard abrasives, which can deteriorate the enamel of your teeth. The hard abrasive can also lead to gum recession. Toothpaste with fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and reverses the early stages of gingivitis.
Sharing a Toothbrush
Never share a toothbrush! Toothbrush sharing isn’t cute; it’s sharing bacteria with each other. That bacteria on the toothbrush can cause tooth decay to your teeth or your partners teeth. Avoid the sharing and use your own toothbrush! Call our office and we will happily provide you with a toothbrush at your next cleaning!
Brush Your Tongue
What is the biggest bacteria attractant in your mouth? Your tongue! The tongue is often forgotten about when brushing the teeth. Always remember to scrub your tongue to remove the bacteria. Scrubbing your tongue can assist in reducing bad breath problems as well.
Use mouthwash to gargle daily and reduce gum disease concerns. If you aren’t a fan of mouthwash, try using vinegar. Apple cider vinegar helps to remove stains and kills bacteria in the mouth.
Avoiding the Dentist
Some people do not like coming in for annual cleaning. We offer nitrous oxide for our patients that are dealing with dental anxiety. We highly recommend annual cleanings and examinations as is allows us to x-ray your teeth to look for small cavities within the teeth. Stop ignoring our emails, phone calls, and postcards! Dental cleanings are vital for proper oral health.