You care about the health of your teeth and gums and make every effort to brush twice a day and floss daily. You see your dentist when you can, but are still a bit concerned about gum disease or other oral health problems. It turns out that no one’s perfect, especially when it comes to dental health. There are a few pretty common mistakes that people make, even if they’re otherwise a stellar patient. Check your dental habits and make sure you’re not making the following mistakes.
Brushing Too Hard
After a long day, your teeth feel a bit gritty, and you can feel the plague, or sticky film, developing on the surface. So, you head to the bathroom, put some toothpaste on your toothbrush and proceed to scrub. It might be that the scrubbing is doing more harm than good. While you might associate gum recession with gum disease, it can also be caused by too vigorous brushing. Using too much pressure when you brush can permanently damage the soft tissue of your gums, causing the root of the teeth to be exposed.
There are a few ways you can learn to brush more gently. Some electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors and will make a buzzing noise if you press too hard with the brush. If you don’t want to switch to electric, try relaxing your arm when brushing and focus on making gentle circular motions instead of sharp, straight strokes. You might also want to switch your toothbrush to one with softer bristles, if you are using a medium or firm brush.
Using an Old Toothbrush
Toothbrushes get worn out with time and aren’t able to do as effective of a job. If you’ve been using the same brush for more than three months or so, getting a new one will help improve your toothbrushing routine considerably.
Can’t remember when you last replaced your brush? Take a look at the bristles. If they are flattened or worn down, it’s probably best to retire the toothbrush.
Skipping Teeth When You Floss
Some teeth are harder to reach than others with the floss, so you might skip them during your routine teeth cleaning sessions. But, if you skip some teeth, food bits and bacteria can continue to collect between the them, increasing your risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. It might be a pain, but making sure that you floss between all of your teeth will mean avoiding more painful or unpleasant dental work in the future.
Snapping The Floss
It’s a good idea to hold the floss taut between your fingers when flossing. But, you don’t want to push the floss so hard between your teeth that it snaps up against the gums. Doing so can hurt your gums. Instead, be as gentle as possible when flossing. Slowly glide the strand of floss between each tooth, pushing it back and forth in a zig-zag motion. It might slow down the process of flossing, but it will also reduce bleeding and make things a lot more comfortable.
Ignoring Your Tongue
You might think of the teeth and gums as the big areas to take care of when taking care of your oral health. But, your tongue needs attention, too. You don’t have to go out and purchase a special tongue scraper, but do make sure to give your tongue a quick once over with your toothbrush during your daily cleaning. The tongue collects bits of food and bacteria, too, so giving it a cleaning regularly will help keep your mouth feeling fresh and will remove harmful bacteria that can lead to gum disease or other oral problems.
Not Seeing Your Dentist Often Enough
How often do you see your dentist? It’s easy to think that because you got a clean bill of health at your last dental check-up, you can skip your next few appointments. But, plague and tartar can begin to build-up on your teeth again soon after your check-up, and the longer you wait between visits, the worse it gets. Stick to a schedule of seeing your regular dentist every six months and make appointments with a periodontist as recommended. Seeing your dentist frequently means there’s a greater chance of a problem being detected, diagnosed and treated before it becomes a major issue.
If you are looking to get back on track when it comes to your dental health, Miami periodontists Dr. John Paul Gallardo and Dr. William Lamas can help. They can evaluate your teeth and gums, let you know if you have any signs of gum disease and recommend a course of treatment or prevention. To schedule an appointment with the periodontists, call (305) 447-1447 today.