Oral hygiene faux pas you should avoid!
Everyone wants the very best for their oral health and smile. And when it comes to your oral health, good oral hygiene habits are the best thing you can do for your teeth and gums. Although following an oral hygiene routine does seem easy,some simple unintentional mistakes could make this routine less effective. No matter how clean you think your teeth are, these mistakes can have a negative effect on your oral health.
Here are some common mistakes you might be committing daily, which can fall short in fully protecting you from cavities, gum disease, and other preventable oral hygiene diseases.
1. Brushing immediately after meals is not a quick fix!It may sound preposterous, but brushing your teeth immediately after eating is not optimal. After eating/drinking, our teeth get weakened by the food acids, which softens the enamel. Brushing right after eating/drinking risks rubbing away the enamel. So, it is ideal to wait at least an hour before you brush after eating for your mouth to recover from the acid assault.
2. There is such a thing as ‘Brushing too much’!Brushing your teeth regularly is paramount. And though it is the cornerstone of oral hygiene, you should do it in healthy moderation. Frequent brushing can cause a gradual loss of enamel(the hard top layer of the tooth). It also means you receive higher than average exposure to the ingredients in your toothpaste, which might cause a negative impact. So, remember too much brushing can cause more harm than good. Also, dentists agree that brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day is enough to keep your teeth healthy.
Beyond the frequency of brushing, one also needs to make sure to change our toothbrush every three months. Bacteria and plaque get built up in the toothbrush. The longer you use a toothbrush, more the bacteria buildup. Another reason is; toothbrush bristles get worn out over a period of time and tend to be more abrasive on your gums leading to inflammation. And finally, if you catch a viral infection, change the toothbrush to avoid reinfecting yourself.
3. Refusing to floss!Your toothbrush sure does a great job cleaning three surfaces of the teeth out of the five. As a toothbrush can't reach the sides between your teeth, plaque and bacteria in these remaining surfaces do not get removed and cause cavities and gum diseases. So what about these other two uncleaned surfaces? This is where dental floss comes into play. It is the only thing that can really get into that space between your teeth to remove plaque and bacteria. Flossing not only prevents cavities and tooth decay but is also instrumental in reducing inflammation in the mouth
If you are flossing for the first time, your gums might bleed. It may be due to harmful gum inflammation or using the wrong technique. Keep flossing gently with the correct technique and if you floss regularly with the right technique, the bleeding will stop within a week or two. Bleeding is probably a sign to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly. Remember, without flossing it is nearly impossible to clean between teeth effectively.
4. Mouthwash is an adjunct to your oral health routine!Mouthwash is a powerful antiseptic solution used to improve oral hygiene. It is beneficial or even essential, but it cannot replace brushing and flossing. Unlike brushing, mouthwash cannot scrub away bacteria and plaque from the surface of your teeth. Also, it cannot remove food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth, as floss does. Therefore, always follow a proper oral hygiene routine, and mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing & flossing.
5. Mind the loo!It might be something you do not think of too much, but keeping your toothbrush in a sanitary way when you are not using it, is very important. Are you’re storing it upright in a holder in a way that it’s not touching another brush? But what about how close your toothbrush is to your toilet? Keeping your toothbrush in the bathroom, or close to your toilet or sink, exposes it to millions of bacteria.In reality, your toothbrush will never be completely germ-free. Whatever place you plan to keep your toothbrush, will still have germs that will land on it. Still, keeping it at a healthy distance from the toilet & sink is a great start.
6. Sharing is a big NO!In the case of toothbrushes, sharing realfly isn’t caring. Intentional or accidental, using someone else’s toothbrush (or letting them use yours) can expose your mouth to illness and infection. Toothbrushes bear a wide range of bacteria that can be passed on when people share toothbrushes. It does not only pass on bacteria but also blood-borne diseases and illnesses. That’s because some people have bleeding gums when they brush their teeth. That means that any bacteria and viruses in the mouth passed on from the toothbrush can enter the bloodstream. So, remember, if you want your oral hygiene to be top-notch, you should not share your toothbrush. No exceptions.
Remember, maintaining good oral health is important to your overall wellness. And to do so, you need to identify the oral health mistakes you have been making all this time and correct them. Remember, mistakes may make a man perfect, but not your oral health!
This article is intended to promote awareness on oral hygiene and is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment.