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.