Common Oral Health Mistakes that Patients Make

February 18, 2016

Unfortunately the majority of us don’t manage to maintain perfect oral hygiene and oral health routines. There are a wide variety of problems that can afflict us. The good news is that the majority of these problems are both treatable and preventable. Here we’re going to take a look at some of the common oral health mistakes we make.

1. Not Brushing Twice a Day

This is one of the most common reasons that oral hygiene suffers. If you don’t clean your teeth for an extended period of time you cause huge damage to your teeth and gums. Plaque (that sticky transparent film on your teeth containing bacteria) builds up on your teeth and below your gumline. This plaque eventually hardens into tartar – a hard deposit that bonds to your teeth and cannot be removed by brushing alone. Left unchecked, the bacteria builds up in the gum pockets that surround your teeth, attacking the bone that holds your teeth in place. If untreated, this can lead to gum disease and eventual tooth loss.

So really try to brush for two minutes twice a day every day, this is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy and your best defence against dental problems.

2. Poor Brushing Technique

Most of us have learnt to brush our teeth just based on habits. When patients see a hygienist the majority discover they are not brushing correctly. There are a few elements to brushing your teeth efficiently.

Brushing too quickly– You should be brushing for at least 2 minutes to cover all the teeth surface area.

Reaching all areas– You need to adjust your brushing habits so that you reach all areas of your teeth. One of the most common problems we encounter is teeth that decay as they have been “missed” repeatedly whilst brushing. Make sure you cover every tooth individually.

Brushing too Hard– Don’t brush too hard. Brushing your teeth too hard doesn’t remove plaque any more effectively and can damage your gums.

Brushing after Meals– Foods that are high in acid weaken your enamel after a meal. To avoid removing enamel you need to wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing.

3. Not controlling our diets

The build-up of plaque is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and gingivitis. There are a number of problems with our modern diets.

Sugar is, sadly, in everything in the modern world. Fizzy drinks and sweets between meals mean your teeth spend huge amounts of time creating acid and plaque – which your saliva and natural bacteria in your mouth cannot neutralise effectively. Try and avoid snacking and cut back on fizzy drinks and you will be doing your oral and normal health a huge favour.

Secondly, we all need to drink more water. Water helps remove plaque and debris from our teeth and promotes the healthy creation of saliva. Saliva is your body’s natural defence against plaque – so make sure you drink water regularly.

5. Not visiting the Dentist

Visiting your dentist every six months helps prevent any minor problems from developing into something much worse. If problems start to develop see your dentist as soon as possible. In particular pay attention to the following problems

  • Tooth Ache, which is a key sign of tooth decay
  • Bleeding gums, which is a key symptom of gingivitis

You can find local dentists at sites like WhatClinic to make sure you get the service you need when you need it.

This article was written by Alex Mungo and used with permission.

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