Top 10 Dental Health Mistakes

© Kurhan - Fotolia.comIt’s important to look after your teeth. Despite this fact, not everybody does so. Some people either have little or wrong information, while others just get a little lazy sometimes. Either way, if this is continued, the result is usually the same: permanent damage to their smile. If you don’t want this to happen to you, here are ten common mistakes that you should do your best to avoid.

Failing to Brush Before Bed
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth three times a day but, if you can’t manage that, at least try to always brush them before going to bed. Not only will doing so keep your mouth free from bacteria for up to eight hours, it will keep your teeth clean when they are most at risk. Most people develop a dry mouth as they snooze and that lack of saliva provides the perfect condition for bacteria to multiply.

Not Brushing Long Enough
Recent studies suggest that many adults spend an average of 40 seconds when brushing their teeth. Regardless of the kind of toothbrush you use, this is completely insufficient. If you want to keep your teeth safe, you need to brush them for at least two minutes each time. If you’re not sure how long you typically spend brushing your teeth, consider a small clock for your bathroom.

Brushing Too Vigorously
Many people believe that the harder they brush their teeth, the cleaner they will be, but they actually couldn’t be more wrong. When you brush too vigorously, you run the risk of scratching your teeth’s enamel and bruising your gums. Light pressure is actually more than sufficient for removing bacteria. The key is to reach all surface areas.

Brushing Right After Eating
A common mistake made by people who genuinely care about their teeth is brushing too soon after eating. Brushing your teeth after a meal is obviously beneficial, but only if you wait 30 minutes. When you eat, the acid in your food can cause your teeth’s enamel to become temporarily weakened. Applying the pressure from a toothbrush too soon can cause damage. If you can’t stand the idea of not having clean mouth after a meal, rinse your mouth with some water to clean off any excess food and liquid.

Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Another way you can damage your teeth is by using the wrong toothbrush. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 3 months on average, as over time, the bristles become too soft and widely spaced, making it more difficult to reach all areas.

Thinking that Brushing is Enough
Brushing your teeth is obviously important, but it’s by no means the only factor to healthy teeth and gums. Regardless of what toothbrush you are using, it’s simply not possible to reach every part of your mouth with a toothbrush alone. If you want healthy teeth, you need to floss between your teeth and rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash.

Drinking Juice at Night
Another common dental health mistake is not watching what you drink, especially after brushing your teeth. If you wake up feeling thirsty in the middle of the night, drink water instead. Fruit juice might seem like a healthy alternative, but the sugar content (even from all-natural juices) is harmful for your teeth when you drink a glass before going back to sleep. You are essentially coating your teeth in sugar.

Drinking Too Much Diet Soda
Diet sodas typically contain a fraction of the amount of sugar in regular sodas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good for your teeth. Regardless of their sugar content, diet sodas are still incredibly acidic and can over time eat away at your teeth’s enamel. If you absolutely cannot have enough and drink diet sodas on a regular basis, rinsing your mouth out with water can help alleviate the potential for damage.

Eating Sweets Everyday
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little bit of candy now and then, but if you have a serious sweet tooth, you are putting your teeth under some serious pressure. Constantly chomping on sugar-filled treats is guaranteed to increase your risk of getting a cavity. Fruit might not be as tasty, but it’s a substitute that your teeth will definitely thank you for.

Skipping Visits to the Dentist
Finally, just because your teeth look fine and you don’t feel anything doesn’t necessarily mean that they are in good shape. In fact, by the time pain presents itself, significant damage has usually been done. Because of this, regular visits to the dentist are very much recommended, ideally every 6 months for regular cleaning, at the very least.

If you tend to put off the task, set calendar alarms in your mobile phone and email software, so you are reminded on the week of your scheduled appointment. If you find that you avoid it because you’re apprehensive, consider finding yourself a new dentist. Some are better than others and when you find one that can put you at ease, you are likely to visit them significantly more often.

Liam Gabriel completed his Master’s in dentistry from King’s College London. He is currently a resident dentist in advance dental artistry where excellence is combined with relaxation and tranquillity to create a personalised dental experience like no other.