Caring for your teeth seems easy. You brush, floss, and repeat a few times a day. However, tooth decay is considered the most common chronic disease is adults. Typical oral care mistakes are what is keeping tooth decay on the rise. Here are the most common mistakes people make with their dental hygiene.
Missing routine dental appointments
While it's recommended to see a dentist every six months, only around 65% of Americans go to the dentist at least once per year. Several reasons stop people from seeing the dentist. The most prevalent reason is income. People who make more than $120,000 per year are twice as likely to see the dentist. However, that's not the only reason. Many people don't understand the impact that skipping appointments can have on their oral health. Just because your teeth don't hurt, doesn't mean that your teeth are healthy. You can have a cavity for a long time before it begins to ache. Waiting too long can cause you to need more invasive dental work.
Flossing is an important part of oral care. However, many people who do floss don't do it properly. It's common for people to push hard between the teeth until the floss snaps passed the teeth and into the gums. Your gums are very delicate, and you need to make sure you aren't digging into them when you floss. Gently guide your floss between your teeth, and back out once you grace the gumline.
Just because you brush your teeth doesn't mean that you are taking proper care of your teeth. While some people don't brush often enough, others brush too often. You've probably heard that you can have too much of a good thing. With oral care, it remains to be true.
Brushing too often can lead to brushing off your enamel, which doesn't regenerate itself. Loosing too much enamel will cause your teeth to become oversensitive to temperature and to bacteria as well. Your enamel is the barrier that protects your teeth from cavities. Without that barrier, you are at a higher risk for tooth loss. Over-brushing can also cause a reseeding gumline. If your gums recede too much, they'll expose the most sensitive areas of your teeth.
Brushing after a meal
You have probably been told to brush after meals and before bed. If you want to brush after a meal, wait at least 30 minutes before you begin. Acids and sugars in your food and drinks weaken your enamel temporarily. If you brush your teeth while the enamel is still weakened, you'll brush off more enamel than usual. Brushing immediately after every meal will wear your enamel down too quickly.
Inadequate vitamin intake
Vitamin C is important to the human body. It help keep your blood vessels, connective tissues, and bones healthy. A lack of vitamin C can lead to a higher risk of gum disease and a higher risk of tooth loss. A proper diet is part of proper oral care, so ensure that you are eating healthy and getting your proper vitamin intake.
DIY teeth bleaching
Bleaching your teeth can be a successful way to remove the aging yellowness and get your pearly whites back. However, you shouldn't go buy yourself a kit to do it yourself, at least before speaking to your dentist. Bleach is harsh and can not only injure your gums, but eat the enamel off your teeth as well.
Bleach also doesn't respond well to all discoloration. Yellow stains whiten a lot more than the brown ones. Your dentist can tell you if tooth whitening will give you a reward worth the risk. Your dentist can also point you to a whitening system that is less dangerous than others on the market.
You don't want to ruin your teeth by making simple mistakes while attempting to care for your teeth. Ensure that you brush and floss properly while eating a healthy diet. Don't take any extra steps such as teeth whitening unless your dentist, like Dentistry For the Entire Family, is on board.