You know the importance of caring for your teeth. You learned the rules long ago: brush after each meal, for two minutes, and floss daily.
It’s second-nature to you. So you don’t need any dental tips, right?
You may be making some mistakes in caring for your teeth and not even know it. If you think there’s a chance you may be overlooking something, read on to see if you’re making one of these common mistakes.
Brushing too often can damage your gums and erode the enamel on your teeth.
Though it’s often said to brush your teeth after every meal, it just may be too much for your teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. Brushing more often than that can actually damage your gums and erode the enamel on your teeth.
Not a good thing.
Aim to brush in the morning and before going to bed at night. If you absolutely need to refresh during the day, go lightly on your teeth and wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you brush.
Keeping your dental hygiene tools sanitary is important. Just don’t overdo it. Zapping your toothbrush in the microwave or throwing it in the dishwasher might be a bit overkill.
Though we’ve heard the stories about gross bacteria hiding out on toothbrushes, the CDC tells us there’s no evidence of anyone getting sick from their own toothbrush.
Rinsing your toothbrush after use and allowing it to completely air dry is enough. Any more drastic measures can actually damage your toothbrush, defeating its purpose.
The acids and preservatives in soda can also damage your teeth, eroding away tooth enamel.
Sugar isn’t the only reason to avoid drinking sodas. As damaging as sugar is to your teeth, there are possibly more important reasons to avoid the bubbly drink.
The acids and preservatives in soda can also damage your teeth, eroding away tooth enamel – even if you switch to diet sodas.
What’s worse, the acids can lower the pH of the saliva in your mouth. This gives bacteria the green light to multiply on the surface of your teeth, causing erosion.
If you’re not ready to ditch soda entirely, take some precautions. Try drinking it through a straw and drink it fairly quickly. This will send the soda farther back into your mouth, away from teeth, and will limit your teeth’s exposure to the acids.
Once done, rinse your mouth with water and pop in a piece of sugarless gum to get the saliva flowing and to raise the pH levels in your mouth.
Thinking a toothpick can substitute for floss is a bad idea.
Even though it’s handy in an emergency to unleash food stuck in your teeth, it’s not the best choice. The wooden toothpicks can splinter and break, and picking too aggressively can damage your sensitive gum tissue.
In a dire situation? Grab a pick and go gently. Or keep a travel size pack of floss handy and clean your teeth the right way.