Taking care of your teeth is as simple as brushing and flossing, right? Not exactly. From consistency to technique, there’s actually quite a bit that goes into keeping your oral health in pristine condition. To ensure you don’t adopt any bad dental habits in the long term, keep reading to learn a few teeth-cleaning mistakes that make your dentist cringe.
Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Even if it’s a close friend, sibling, or significant other, you should never use someone else’s toothbrush to clean your teeth. There are a few reasons for this. Most importantly, using their toothbrush will expose you to whatever bacteria is in their mouth. So, if they were recently sick, there’s a good chance you’ll catch whatever they had.
Skipping Your Biannual Cleanings
Have you heard that your six-month dental checkups and cleanings are optional? They aren’t! In fact, it’s just the opposite – they are essential for maintaining a healthy smile. While the examination portion allows your dentist to screen for dental and non-dental issues alike (like cavities and oral cancer), the cleaning portion ensures stubborn plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth and along your gumline.
Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
In short, frayed, old bristles don’t clean your teeth as well. That’s why organizations like the American Dental Association recommend replacing yours every three or four months. If you’ve had your current one for longer than that, then now is the time to get a new one!
Going to Bed Without Brushing Your Teeth
If you accidentally fall asleep without brushing your teeth, don’t worry – mistakes happen. If this becomes a consistent habit, however, then there’s a good chance you’ll develop cavities, gum disease, or another serious oral health concern. So, don’t jump under the covers until you’ve thoroughly brushed your teeth!
Neglecting to Floss Consistently
Flossing is important because it cleans where your bristles don’t, like between your teeth and along the gumline. That’s why it’s so important to floss each and every day! If you don’t like traditional floss, then ask your dentist about an alternative, like an oral irrigator.
Over-Whitening Your Teeth
Remember, the color of your teeth isn’t the only indicator of how healthy they are. If you over-whiten them, then you’ll likely damage the enamel and increase your chances of developing tooth decay. If you purchase a store-bought whitening kit, then make sure to read the instructions carefully. Otherwise, you can get a professional teeth whitening treatment where your dentist will ensure the health of your teeth isn’t compromised in the process.
Now you know a few common teeth-cleaning mistakes that patients make! To keep your smile in pristine condition, make sure to avoid them at all costs.
About the Practice
Our team at Aesthetic & Family Dentistry of Washington is passionate about creating healthy, happy smiles. Part of that effort is providing meticulous checkups and thorough cleanings to our patients! If you want to learn more about how to clean your teeth properly or you’re overdue for your six-month checkup, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (202) 364-8989.