Common Oral Health Mistakes You're Probably Making

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When you visit your dentist, it's good to listen to his or her advice for how you want to care for your teeth in particular; they may note that you're starting to get cavities from all the sugary foods you're eating, or are missing your back teeth when you brush. However, there are some other common mistakes that many people make that you don't want to overlook, and it's good to mention these to your dentist if you're concerned about your oral health. Note a few of these mistakes here so you know your teeth are always in good condition.

Not brushing your tongue

Your tongue holds a myriad of germs and bacteria from leftover food particles, yet many people fail to brush their tongue along with their teeth. You don't need to gag yourself by reaching too far into the back of your throat to brush your tongue, but a quick look of it in the mirror can probably tell you where the most food particles are settled. Use a very wet toothbrush and lots of toothpaste so that you're not scraping your tongue with a dry brush, and give it a good cleaning every time you brush your teeth for better oral health and fresher breath.

Improper flossing

Floss with a wax coating can be softer on your gums so you're less likely to cut or irritate them when you floss; if you should cut into your gums with dental floss, this can allow germs and bacteria to settle into those areas. Not only might this cause plaque and eventual tooth decay but it can also mean an increased risk for an oral infection. If the floss you use seems very hard or stiff, switch to something that glides easier and feels softer on the gums.

You also want to ensure that you're flossing all around the teeth rather than just sliding the floss straight up and down. Curve the floss into a C-shape so that you're pulling it horizontally in front of and behind teeth, to remove the maximum amount of food particles.

Trauma to the teeth

Your teeth are not meant to open cans or chew on pencils. Likewise, grinding your teeth at night can erode the protective enamel on the teeth. Your dentist might find signs of this type of tooth trauma but it's good to consider how you treat your teeth every day. Avoid biting into very hard foods like toffee or hard candies and using your teeth to open containers, so you avoid damaging them or the enamel over them.

For more information, talk to a dentist.