You want your smile to really last – but you might be your own oral health’s worst enemy. We’re all guilty of treating our bodies with less respect than we’d ideally like, but it’s key that you arm yourself with knowledge. By learning more about how to treat your teeth, you can prevent future dental problems and keep your smile looking great. Read on for some of the most egregious common dental mistakes.
How Teeth Should Be Treated
Brush before breakfast – Many patients brush immediately after eating, because that’s the best way to remove plaque-forming bacteria…right? In reality, it’s best to either brush before breakfast or wait 30 minutes afterwards. This is because acidic foods and drinks (like orange juice) soften your enamel, and brushing immediately can damage it.
Brush gently – Many patients brush so hard that they inadvertently cause gum recession and enamel erosion. Be sure to brush gently but thoroughly. If you struggle with this, invest in an electric toothbrush, which will help control the brushing forces.
Snack wisely – Choose healthy snacks, and avoid starches and sugars. Because you don’t produce as much saliva when snacking as you do while eating a meal, snacks make your teeth vulnerable to acids and bacteria. Try to rinse with water after your quick bite.
Never use teeth as tools – This is a big one! So many of us turn to our teeth when the proper implement isn’t handy, but it’s never a good idea. This leads to enamel cracking, chipping, or worse. Next time, take the extra 10 seconds to find the scissors or bottle opener.
Limit acidic drinks – especially soda – Beverages that are highly acidic wash your enamel in harmful substances, leading to worn enamel, tooth sensitivity, and potential staining. Water is always the healthiest choice!
Floss the right way – Few patients really enjoy flossing. Make sure yours is as effective as possible to see real results from your oral hygiene, and save time in the bathroom.