According to the CDC, more than 25% of American adults have untreated tooth decay.
Since your mouth is the gateway to your respiratory and digestive tracts, keeping your oral hygiene in tip-top shape is essential to your overall health.
Even if you pride yourself on your good oral hygiene routine, it’s possible you’re making mistakes that negatively impact your oral health.
Let’s take a look at 5 common oral hygiene mistakes that everyone should avoid.
1. Brushing Incorrectly
There are several dental hygiene mistakes that can be made in regards to brushing your teeth.
First, many people make the mistake of only brushing their teeth in the morning. It’s important to brush your teeth before bed, too. When you sleep, the bacteria in your mouth can secret acid that leads to tooth decay.
Second, it’s common for people to brush their teeth too hard. This can lead to gum recession and enamel abrasion over time.
Lastly, people often don’t brush for long enough. Adequate time brushing is essential for good oral hygiene.
2. Not Flossing
Don’t fall prey to the common mistake of replacing flossing with mouthwash. Mouthwash has its place, but it doesn’t get to the hard to reach spots in between your teeth.
It’s important to floss at least once a day. Floss picks and toothpicks are also not replacements for traditional flossing.
Your dentist can help you learn how to floss properly. Read this to see an example of quality dental care.
3. Forgetting About Your Tongue
Bacteria can accumulate on your tongue throughout the day. This means that it’s essential to clean your tongue every day so that the bacteria doesn’t make its way to your gums and teeth. To clean your tongue, you can either brush with a toothbrush or use a tongue scraper.
4. Not Staying Hydrated
A proper oral hygiene routine includes staying adequately hydrated. This helps avoid dry mouth, which can lead to fungi and bacterial growth. Both fungus and bacteria can cause bad breath and tooth decay.
5. Drinking Sugary Beverages
A 16 oz can of soda or other sugary drinks can have nearly 30 grams of sugar in them. Since oral bacteria love consuming carbohydrates in the form of sugar, this can lead to poor oral health. Sugars are additionally acidic, which can erode the enamel from your teeth.
Start Practicing Good Oral Hygiene and Notice the Difference!
Making changes in your oral hygiene routine can improve your sense of smell, taste, and overall wellbeing.
While it’s essential to take care of your oral health on a day to day basis, you also don’t want to skip out on visiting the dentist. For most adults, it’s recommended that you have a cleaning and a checkup every six months.