Top 9 Oral Health Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Practicing good oral health can keep you from developing cavities, gum disease, or other serious oral health problems. Sadly, many of us are too busy or don’t have time to take care of our teeth properly. If you want to avoid oral diseases, here are the most common oral health mistakes you should avoid.

1. Not Brushing And Flossing Regularly

Most people don’t like to floss, but not flossing can lead to cavities. If you don’t brush your teeth, you won’t be able to remove tooth particles and they will build up over time. If they build up, they will cause cavities and gum disease.

How often you should brush:

  • Children under age 4: brush after each meal and at least twice a day
  • Children ages 4-6: brush after each meal and at least 3 times a day
  • Children ages 7-12: brush after each meal and at least 2 times a day
  • Teens: brush after each meal and at least 2 times a day
  • Adults: brush after each meal and at least 2 times a day

2. Skipping Routine Checkups

Brushing and flossing your teeth will only remove the small particles of food and bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. You won’t be able to remove the larger particles that you might not be able to see. Regular checkups can help your dentist or dental hygienist remove those particles and can also let you know if you need to make any changes to your oral health routine.

Dentists have special tools, like dental mirrors and dental picks, that they use to see bacteria and other particles that are too small for us to see. They can also use their tools to remove any trapped plaque or make sure that your teeth are clean.

3. Smoking

Smoking can damage the gingiva (gums) and cause periodontal (gum) disease. It can also cause tooth loss.

How smoking causes gum disease:

Smoking causes the blood vessels in the gums to constrict. This causes your gums to appear red and to recede. If you don’t quit smoking, the tissue will become infected and it will cause more gum tissue to die.

How smoking causes tooth loss:

When the cancer cells in the gums begin to form, they can lead to periodontal disease. If you don’t quit smoking, the cancer cells will spread to the bone and teeth, and destroy the bone.

4. Eating A Poor Diet

Poor diets can lead to cavities and other oral health problems. Soda can damage your teeth and cause cavities because it contains sugar. Sugary snacks and sugary drinks can also damage your teeth. Fruit juice can harm your teeth if you drink it throughout the day instead of eating the fruit.

If you eat a lot of sugary foods, your mouth will have a lot of plaque and bacteria. This can cause cavities and gum disease. Eating a lot of acidic foods, like citrus fruits or pickles, can also cause cavities.

5. Tooth Grinding or Clenching

Grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, can cause the enamel to wear away. If you grind your teeth, you could end up with deep grooves and pits on your teeth. This can cause stress fractures and sensitivity. It can also cause your teeth to break.

You should bring your teeth grinding habits to your dentist and dentist and see if you can get a mouthguard. A mouthguard will help protect your teeth from grinding.

girl getting a custom mouthguard

6. Not Wearing A Mouthguard For Sports

If you participate in certain contact sports, like basketball or football, you should wear a mouthguard. When you participate in sports like these, you can get hit in the face and you can also hit other people. Getting hit in the face can cause your teeth to break.

If you play sports, you should get a mouthguard that is custom made for you. Your dentist can design a mouthguard that will fit snugly to your teeth.

7. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to cavities because your mouth will be dryer than usual. Saliva helps wash away the acid that causes cavities. If you drink alcohol, your mouth will be dry, so you won’t produce as much saliva.

Alcohol can also dry out your mouth. Dry mouths are more likely to get cavities because saliva helps protect your teeth from acids.

8. Chewing On Hard Objects

Chewing on hard objects, like ice, gum, or even the shells of nuts, can also cause cavities. These hard objects will damage your teeth, but if you chew on hard objects, you won’t be able to brush or floss to remove the food particles that would have deposited on your teeth while you chewed on the hard objects.

9. Using The Same Toothbrush For Extended Periods

If you use the same toothbrush for extended periods of time, you will lose bristles and you will also lose the effectiveness of the bristles that you do have. When you use the same toothbrush for extended periods, you also lose the toothpaste.

You should replace your toothbrush every three months. If you participate in sports, you should replace your toothbrush every 90 days. If you have a very active lifestyle, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four weeks.

Summary

If you want to have a long and healthy life, you should practice good oral health. Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. At your next checkup, you should have your teeth cleaned and your dentist can tell you how often you should have your teeth cleaned. You should also make sure you visit your dentist regularly.

Pros And Cons Of Fluoride

Flouride use has been controversial over the years. Some claim that it is toxic to the human body while others see it as an essential component for healthy teeth.

Intake of fluoride is quite common due to its role in preventing tooth decay. For a long time, people have been adding it to drinking water. Adding fluoride to water is said to help in strengthening the enamel of the teeth, prevent tooth loss, tooth decay, and cavities.

Sources of fluoride include drinking fluoridated water, taking supplements containing the mineral or using fluoride toothpaste.

However, questions are now arising over the safety of fluoride. Countries with high natural fluoride levels are putting effort to remove the fluoride because of the increase in health problems, attributed to fluoride. Due to these concerns, health programs are now evaluating fluoride effects on health.

Below are some of the pros and cons of fluoride.

Benefits

Prevent Cavities

Dentists may recommend that you use fluoride toothpaste or drink fluoridated water if you have a high risk of cavities, dry mouth, or sensitivity.

Flouride supports remineralization of teeth, enabling it to heal cavities. It is also able to rebuild weakened teeth, making them stronger.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Water fluoridation has proved to be very useful in preventing tooth decay in children. When one drinks water, the fluoride present washes over the teeth and in the process, it gets absorbed by the enamel, preventing decay.

If your tap water does not contain fluoride, then it would be wise to talk to your dentist to advise you on how best you can benefit from other fluoride sources.

Disadvantages

Cause Dental Fluorosis

Both children and adults exposed to areas with a high concentration of fluoride are at risk of getting dental fluorosis. It occurs as tiny white specks in the enamel of the child’s tooth. What results from this is tooth discoloration.

For this reason, children need to be supervised to ensure they do not use fluoride toothpaste or intake excessive fluoride water at these early stages. Parents of newborns are advised not to use fluoridated water when reconstituting formula for their infants.

Presence of these discolorations strongly shows the problem of excessive fluoride ingestion, which comes with other severe issues such as stomach pains and indigestion. One is, therefore, advised to look out for such signs and act accordingly.

Thyroid Problems

Research shows that excessive fluoride intake can cause damage to the parathyroid gland. This can cause hyperparathyroidism, a situation where there is uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormone, causing low calcium levels in the bone structure.

Low thyroid in the body also causes irregular bowel functions, weight gain, heart diseases, brain fog, and fatigue in individuals.

Damaged Bones

Excess fluoride use is associated with weakened bones, and especially the hip joints. It causes a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. This causes pain and damage to the bones such that the bones harden and become less elastic, increasing the risk of fractures occurring. In a situation where the bones thicken, and bone tissues accumulate, the risk of impaired joints becomes higher.

Research done shows that when high doses of fluoride were used on patients with osteoporosis, in a bid to harden their bones and minimize the fracture rates, the rates of fractures occurring increased.

Another research showed that low-level fluoride exposure in girls might have a detrimental effect on cortical bone density.

Brain Damage

There have been concerns about the effects of fluoride intake on the brain for a long time. Research shows that prenatal and postnatal exposure to the mineral leads to low attention or cognition in individuals.

Excess fluoride intake may cause one’s body to absorb more aluminum, which causes brain degradation. For this reason, diseases such as Alzheimer disease continue to increase.

Other studies suggest that fluoride may affect sleep, neurotransmitter levels, and circadian rhythms, affecting overall health.

Fluoride intake has both its pros and cons and because of this, many people may find themselves stranded on whether to use it or not. Due to the dangers that come with using fluoride, it is always good to seek advice from your dentist to know whether there are alternative options for you.

However, using it in the right amount will help prevent dental issues. Some consider it similar to adding vitamins to food.

Top Gum Disease Prevention Tips

Gum disease can be a major problem that can negatively impact your overall health. Your mouth is a gateway to your health. In fact, gum disease can even lead to heart disease. Because of this, it is very important to keep your gums as healthy as possible.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is something that starts when there is significant plaque buildup along the gum line. This is an issue because plaque is a sticky and hard to remove substance that can be filled with bacteria. Therefore, it can lead to tooth decay and even result in infections. It can eat away at your gums and even cause a weakening of your teeth and jawbone.

When it gets bad enough, this buildup can lead to gingivitis which is the early onset of gum disease.

You know you are suffering from gingivitis when your gums are constantly inflamed, when your gums bleed, when you brush or floss your teeth, and when your gums are even tender to the touch. When you get to the advanced stages of gum disease, your entire jawbone can be at risk.

How To Prevent Gum Disease?

1. Floss, Floss, Floss.

The best thing that you are going to be able to do in order to prevent gum disease in the first place would be to floss consistently. Not only do you want to floss consistently, but you should be flossing the right way.

If you are someone that is already dealing with the early stages of gum disease, you will want to invest in expanding floss. Getting floss that expands will allow you to better get rid of stubborn plaque at your gum line.

You also want to make sure that you are flossing the right way. You will want to be flossing so you are able to get trapped plaque and bacteria directly at your gum line. Therefore, you should be directing the floss towards your gum line.

2. Professional Dental Cleanings.

Another big thing that you are going to need to do in order to prevent gum disease would be to get regular and professional dental cleanings. If you are in the early stages of gum disease, it might be in your best interest to get regular dental cleanings every three months as opposed to every six months.

For those that don’t have gum disease, they might be able to get by with regular six-month cleanings. However, for those with early stages of gingivitis and gum disease, you will want to stick to getting them much more regularly.

3. Brush Your Teeth.

While flossing is very important, brushing your teeth is just as important. You want to be brushing your teeth at least twice per day. However, more importantly, you want to be brushing your teeth properly. You should be looking to brush your teeth at the gum line to ensure that you are able to disturb and get rid of the bacteria built up on it. Along with this, you should be brushing your tongue regularly because bacteria can grow on your tongue and cause issues with your gums.

There are a lot of things that you should be doing in order to get rid of bacteria build up on your gum lines. By following the various tips above, you will be able to protect your gums from harmful plaque and bacteria. By regularly flossing, brushing your teeth, and getting regular cleanings, you should be able to prevent gum disease from becoming a problem. You also want to be certain that you are using fluoride toothpaste with triclosan which is used to help reduce plaque buildup and other gum problems.