5 Common Oral Hygiene Mistakes

close up of a young woman brushing her teeth

Common dental mistakes can make the difference between a clean bill of health at your next appointment or a mouth full of cavities. To prevent bad breath, tooth loss, enamel erosion, discoloration of teeth, and other dental problems, here are 5 common oral hygiene mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

1. Brushing Too Hard

Daily brushing is necessary for healthy teeth, but many make the mistake of brushing too hard. Over time, this can lead to enamel erosion and irreversible damage to teeth. This is why we recommend always using a soft-bristled brush. Using an electric toothbrush can also help you remember not to brush too hard. It does the work for you, vibrating gently to remove surface stains while not being abrasive. Some electric toothbrushes will even alert you if you’re brushing too hard.

2. Snacking

Eating in between meals can increase your risk of cavities and gingivitis. That’s because the more you expose your teeth to sugary foods and processed carbohydrates, the more opportunities for harmful bacteria to grow. If you do snack, drink plenty of water to wash it down and rinse your teeth.

3. Forgetting Floss

Many Americans forget to floss daily. This common dental mistake is a huge contributor to the formation of plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease. Food particles get caught in between teeth. The bacteria in our mouths feed off of these food particles and create an acidic environment that is harmful to teeth. Be sure to floss every day, preferably before brushing to sweep food away.

4. Rushing While Brushing

Life can be busy and many of us rush out the door every morning to get to work or school on time. The problem with rushing is that we sometimes neglect adequate brushing. Teeth need to be brushed for 2 minutes each time you brush. You can set a timer on your phone for manual toothbrushes. An electric toothbrush has a timer that will let you know when the time is up.

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

Water cleans the teeth and helps keep your mouth and body hydrated. Fluoridated tap water also helps to fortify your teeth against decay. Be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water a day (or 64 ounces). And after meals, drink plenty of water to clean teeth.

Questions? We Have Answers!

If you have questions about this or other dental hygiene mistakes, we are here to answer them for you. At your next appointment, we’ll tell you if we see the effects of these common mistakes in your smile and help you fix them. We hope to see you soon!

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