Even people who say they’re really picky about oral hygiene might be making loads of mistakes in their daily routine. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is essential. Make sure you’re not making mistakes! This guide will help you achieve better oral hygiene health habits.
There’s plaque on your teeth right now
Unless you literally just brushed your teeth, there’s a dangerous biofilm on them right now. It’s often very thin, translucent, and filled with bacteria. It’s at the front of your teeth, at the back, to the sides, and even under the gums. It might sound like I’m describing some monstrous goo from some straight-to-DVD horror movie. But I’m actually referring to plaque!
Plaque develops and builds up around your teeth all day. And it’s there, even if you’re convinced it isn’t. A lot of people may skip brushing sometimes because their teeth feel clean. They might swig some mouthwash just to get a minty flavor in there, but that’ll be it. Big mistake! Plaque is on your teeth right now, and you’ll have to brush your teeth before going to bed if you don’t want damage to occur! Not doing so can cause long-term problems to your overall health.
A good and thorough floss at least once a day is the only way to get rid of all that plaque. Unfortunately, not everyone who brushes their teeth thoroughly bothers to floss as well. Thankfully, things have been getting better in recent years. Perhaps a decade ago, it was estimated that less than half of Americans flossed daily. In recent years, the statistics are looking much better. But the statistics still aren’t perfect. (Seriously, less than half of men brush their teeth twice a day? Come on, guys! Not that women are much better at 56.8%…)
Trust me, dentists can tell almost immediately if you’re someone who doesn’t floss. If you’re not flossing, then you’re allowing a lot of damage to occur to your mouth. The materials that floss removes have a habit of getting really old and making their way into your bloodstream. This is basically akin to allowing out-of-date food getting into your system, bit by bit. Over the years, this can cause serious health problems. Seriously: the research out there is linking a lack of flossing to severe heart disease.
Dealing with problems when they occur
The problem that a lot of people have is that they tend to ignore problems when they occur. This, of course, is extremely foolish. The longer you allow oral problems to linger, the worse they’ll get.
And they can escalate into a pretty nasty territory quickly. One of the most ignored problems is the presence of blood when you brush your teeth. People may assume that they’re brushing their teeth too hard – and that could indeed be the case. But it could be that gum disease is present, which is causing you to bleed even when brushing gently.
Another problem that people often allow to go untreated is chronic dry mouth. They may think that they simply need to drink more water. Which, of course, is something you should probably be doing! But it could also be the result of a specific oral problem. Get it seen quickly, because bacteria grows faster in a dry mouth! Sometimes, people let issues that have already turned into a bad situation to get even worse! This is often because people don’t know how to deal with emergency matters. Let’s say you have a root canal emergency. Don’t just assume you can’t get help just because 911 doesn’t include dental services! There are 24 hour dental services.
Getting a little too enthusiastic about cleanliness
Don’t let this article scare you into brushing and flossing too hard. This is actually a lot more common than you might think. After all, there’s a lot of plaque on and around your teeth at any given time, right?
Seriously, don’t fall into that line of thinking. It’s completely possible to brush your teeth too hard. And the effects can be pretty devastating. It can actually lead to some of the decay issues you’re trying to prevent.
You may also cause gum erosion. I’d include pictures of that here, but… trust me, you really don’t want to see them! Your dentist may be able to tell if you’re brushing or flossing too hard. Be careful going forward, because it’s easier than you think to apply too much force.