As most patients of our Castle Rock dentists already know, studies have linked poor dental care to a variety of serious long-term health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and dementia. While most of our patients at Glow Comprehensive Dentistry work hard to maintain their oral health, odds are you’re probably making at least one common mistake. To keep you smiling brightly for years to come, here are a few common oral health errors that people make and what you can do to fix them.
Not Brushing At The Right Time Of Day
The last thing that touches your teeth at night should be your toothbrush. That’s because snacking right before falling asleep dramatically increases your risk of developing cavities if the foods you consume during your late night snack are allowed to remain on and in-between your teeth.
Brushing in the morning ranks as equally important as brushing before bed. During the night your body produces less saliva, which allows harmful bacteria that grows in the mouth to reproduce more quickly than usual.
By brushing at least twice a day – once in the morning and again at night – for two minutes at a time, you can significantly improve your oral health and help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Using The Wrong Toothbrush
The best types of brushes feature soft bristles that can slip between your teeth and gum tissue. This allows the brush to remove plaque and lingering food particles from the hard to clean areas of your mouth.
Brushing with toothbrushes that feature hard bristles can actually damage your teeth if you consistently brush using too much force. Using excessive pressure can cause your gums to recede and expose the delicate roots of your teeth to bacteria. Since the roots of your teeth aren’t covered by enamel, scrubbing this part of a tooth can quickly cause damage that leads to cavities and gum disease.
You Use The Wrong Technique
Using a back-and-forth motion to brush won’t adequately clean the surface of your teeth. Instead, position the handle of your toothbrush so that the bristles are at a 30 to 45-degree angle. Then rotate your wrist in a counterclockwise motion to effectively remove plaque from the surface of your teeth.
When you move to brush the back of your teeth, turn your toothbrush vertically so that the head covers more of each tooth individually. Make sure to pay close attention to brushing the back molars, since this area typically harbors the largest plaque deposits.
You Don’t Replace Your Brush Frequently Enough
Like any other tool you use on a daily basis, your toothbrush will eventually become worn down and need replacing. Typically you’ll need to replace your toothbrush once every three months or once the bristles become worn or frayed. Regularly examine your brush and replace it once you notice its bristles have become bent, broken or missing.
If you have any questions about the best practices for your teeth, feel free to ask any of our Castle Rock dentists at Glow Comprehensive Dentistry during your next visit.