One of the pillars of maintaining a happy and healthy smile is practicing regular oral hygiene. But when it comes to doing this, there are a few mistakes and pitfalls that you should be certain to avoid, as they can end up causing more harm than good! Keep reading to learn more from your dentist in Medford about five of the common blunders that people make when caring for their smiles and how you can avoid them.
1. Only Brushing Once a Day
There’s a good reason that dentists strongly encourage their patients to brush their teeth twice a day: once simply isn’t enough! Plaque that is left at the gumline can cause inflammation and infection, and if left untreated, the gum tissue can begin to peel away from the roots of your teeth. This can ultimately lead to tooth loss! But brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled brush can help you to avoid this.
2. Ignoring Your Gums
Brushing your teeth isn’t the only thing you need to worry about—your gums are just as important! Neglecting to care for them will often lead to problems that affect your teeth, including advanced gum disease. Be sure that you’re gently brushing your gums as you brush your teeth, in addition to flossing daily. Flossing is what helps you clean the hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth that your brush can’t reach, so don’t forget to do it!
3. Going Overboard with Whitening Products
There are many store-bought whitening products like toothpastes, strips, gels, and rinses that claim they’ll give you a gleaming white smile. But you should exercise caution when using these products; overusing them can lead to issues such as hypersensitivity, enamel abrasion, and more. If you want whiter teeth, your best option is usually visiting your dentist for professional treatment.
4. Rarely Replacing Your Toothbrush
The American Dental Association, one of the most reputable professional organizations in dentistry, recommends that you replace your toothbrush with a new one every 3 to 4 months. Over time, your brush’s bristles become frayed, weak, and unable to effectively clean your teeth. It’s also wise to replace your toothbrush if you’ve recently been sick, as germs can sometimes remain lingering between the bristles and reinfect you. When it’s time to get a new brush, you might also consider what type of brush to buy; electric toothbrushes have been proven to clean more effectively than manual ones!
Brushing too hard can be just as bad as not brushing at all! Overbrushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear away gum tissue and enamel, neither of which will grow back on their own. It can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity.
Even if you practice good oral hygiene, it’s all for nothing if you’re making critical errors while doing so! By avoiding these five mistakes, you can ensure that you’re properly caring for your smile and guaranteeing its lasting beauty and health.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino has proudly served patients and families in the Medford, MA area for several years. Dr. Giamberardino received his dental doctorate from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and is an active member of many professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Massachusetts Dental Society, and a Fellow of the American College of Dentists. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health or would like to schedule a visit, don’t hesitate to reach out online or by phone: (781) 396-3800.