Avoiding Common Bad Dental Habits

By Steven Kail on July 21, 2015

A woman with bright, white, healthy teeth, talking on the phone and holding a coffee cupSimply brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough to maintain good oral health. Did you know the way you brush is just as important as how often you brush your teeth? Even when we think we're practicing proper oral care, improper technique can make our efforts less efficient. While restorative dentistry treatments can repair the damage caused by bad dental habits, it's best to prevent damage before it starts. Avoid common bad dental habits with these tips from our dentists at Jackson-based Premier Dental Center.

Common Bad Dental Habits to Avoid

Many people think that as long as they brush their teeth, they're practicing good oral hygiene. Of course regular brushing is important, but the way we brush can make this habit more or less effective. Even if you brush twice a day, you may have developed some bad dental habits. Avoid these bad habits to keep your smile healthy.

  • Not flossing daily: Flossing is essential to gum health. Unfortunately, failing to floss is one of the most common bad dental habits. Daily flossing can prevent gum disease by removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup at the gum line. You can more effectively floss by gliding the floss along each side of each tooth and as far along the gum line as possible.  Repeat the sweeping motion about three times on each side of each tooth to remove plaque and food debris.
  • Not brushing: Of course, not brushing your teeth is a serious bad habit and can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night.
  • Brushing too fast: The way we brush is also important when it comes to proper oral care. One bad habit some people develop in regards to brushing is brushing too fast. If you brush for less than two minutes, you're not effectively brushing your teeth. Two minutes is the recommended length of time to ensure each section of the mouth is cleaned.
  • Missing key areas while brushing: Another bad habit people develop is the wrong brushing technique. This can cause us to miss key areas. The toothbrush should be held at about a 45-degree angle to allow the bristles to reach between the gums and teeth, removing plaque at the gum line. Also, be sure to use small, short strokes along all surfaces of each tooth, paying particular attention to the hard-to-reach back teeth.
  • Brushing too aggressively: Some people use too much pressure while brushing. Using too much pressure or brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down the dental enamel over time, leading to tooth erosion.
  • Using an old toothbrush: It's important to replace your toothbrush at least once every three months because old toothbrush bristles can become worn making them less effective, and carry bacteria.
  • Not scheduling dental check-ups: With today's busy schedules, it's easy to delay going to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning, but regular exams and cleanings are vital to maintaining oral health. Schedule a dental exam and cleaning at least every six months to catch any oral damage early and keep your teeth free of plaque and tartar build up.

Schedule an Appointment

It's never too late to get your oral health back on track or to correct bad dental habits. Schedule an appointment with our team today.

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