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Dental Habits Everyone Needs to Break

Posted 02-08-2013 02:12 PM by ChristaIB
Updated 10-09-2017 07:09 AM by IBJose (add anchor text links)

Do you have good or bad dental habits? We all know that we should brush and floss our teeth at least two times a day, if not more. This is important for good oral hygiene – healthy teeth and gums – and also important for our general health. Did you know that the health of your mouth and teeth connects to the health of other systems in your body as well, such as your immune system and your heart? We may know this, but even so, we are sometimes guilty of these three bad dental habits that we need to break:

Bad Habit #1: Brushing Irregularly or Quickly

When we are in a hurry or too tired to bother, we can be tempted to give our teeth a cursory brush--mainly to clear away obvious food particles and get fresher breath. Be careful not to fall into this habit too often! If you brush your teeth inconsistently or rapidly, plaque and tartar are more likely to build up on and in between your teeth. This makes it more difficult to clean your teeth thoroughly even those times when you do brush well. This can lead to gingivitis, cavities or other oral health problems.

Bad Habit #2: Brushing Too Vigorously

Many of us think if we brush harder – really scrub our teeth – they will be cleaner, but this is not true. Rigorous brushing can actually weaken tooth enamel and cause the gums to recede. If it is shiny white teeth you are after, try to kick this habit. Vigorous scrubbing can also create small lacerations in your mouth, which can lead to infection or painful sores. It is best to use a dentist-recommended brand of toothbrush with soft- or medium-strength bristles. Do your teeth a favor and try to avoid any firm-bristled toothbrushes, except under the advice of your dentist.

Bad Habit #3: Forgetting to Floss

Perhaps because it is an extra step, flossing after brushing is often skipped or forgotten. However, flossing is essential for cleaning out the plaque that builds up between your teeth. Many people don’t realize that flossing is more effective than brushing for cleaning out pieces of food and other detritus that get stuck in those crevices, thereby preventing them from hardening and collecting. If you are regularly skipping this step and leaving those food particles stuck in your gum line, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to periodontitis and other issues. Try to Floss regularly, and it will help improve and maintain the overall health of your gums.

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