Maintaining high oral hygiene is something that few of us actually achieve on a long-term basis. We're all considered occasional blunders into our routine but here are the 7 most common dental pitfalls that you should definitely try to avoid whenever and however possible.
These 7 tips will help you maintain oral hygiene:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day
While our most obvious tips are, this is definitely the most important. Almost a quarter of adults in the UK do not brush their teeth twice a day. However, regular brushing prevents the accumulation of bacteria. Studies have shown that even missing a brushing session can initiate the process of tooth decay. Make sure you brush twice a day for two minutes to keep your teeth plaque-free.
2. Incorrect brushing technique
Brushing technique is just as important as brushing your teeth. One of the most common mistakes we make is missing areas of the mouth. When brushing you need to make sure that every tooth is cleaned and that we clean the total surface area of the teeth. When you're in a hurry it can be easy to skim areas but this often leaves plaque on the teeth and along the gum line – leading to tooth decay and gingivitis. Also, be careful not to brush too hard as you can damage your gums.
3. Not using the right toothbrush
You need to make sure you're using the right tools for the job. Toothbrushes come in different thicknesses and strengths. Small-head brushes are considered the best because they allow you to reach anywhere in your mouth more easily. In terms of softer bristles tend to be better – ideally with rounded tips to prevent aggravation of gums.
4. Not replacing your toothbrush enough
We've all used a toothbrush in the past to its best. Once the bristles start to lose their strength and you have a spread, it's time to replace your brush. Our best tip is to buy multiple brushes and always have a spare in the bathroom cabinet. Using a brush in the semi-daily makes it more likely that you will miss areas in your mouth while brushing and that plaque will not be effectively removed.
5. Do not use dental floss
No matter how well you brush your teeth, you won't be able to reach every area between your teeth. Flossing regularly helps remove plaque and food buildup between your teeth. The accumulation of plaque along the gum line is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Daily flossing helps remove plaque and prevent gum disease.
6. Too much sugar
Our diet is the leading cause of tooth decay. The big enemy here is carbonated drinks – as many of us now drink these all day. Drink sugary or carbonated drinks irregularly to avoid tooth decay. Your health and your mouth will thank you.
7. Don't go to the dentist
Even if your oral hygiene is excellent, you should still visit the dentist twice a year. Visiting the dentist regularly ensures that any problems that arise can be dealt with quickly. Your dentist can also ensure that you are using the correct brushing techniques and advise you on the best options for oral care.