dentist showing how to avoid dental hygiene mistakes

Top Dental Hygiene Mistakes People Make

May 14, 2024

While you should visit your dentist regularly, the real hard work to keep a healthy smile is the effort you make every day at home. Many people unknowingly make common mistakes that can easily cost them in the long run by developing serious oral health problems, undermining the efforts of regular dental cleanings, and negatively affecting their smile.

Common Dental Hygiene Mistakes To Avoid

Practicing good oral hygiene at home can prevent cavities, gum disease, and enamel issues. It may be hard to remember the advice your dentist gives to maintain your teeth, but avoiding the following common mistakes can lead to a healthy smile and fewer costly dental bills.

Not Flossing Daily

Right before your dentist appointment shouldn’t be the only time you floss. It may seem tedious, but flossing is essential in caring for your teeth and gums. Plaque between the teeth cannot be removed by brushing alone, and when that plaque sits for a long time, you may face gingivitis or tooth decay. The best way to combat plaque and debris between teeth is to use ordinary floss or water pick.

Brushing Before Flossing

Flossing and brushing together are the best ways to keep your teeth clean. But if you brush before your floss, bacteria and plaque can still remain between your teeth and spread throughout the rest of your mouth. You can make sure to get all of the germs out of your mouth by flossing first and then brushing to carry them away.

Ignoring Your Gums and Tongue

Brushing your teeth is only one part of keeping up with good oral hygiene. Other parts of your mouth also need to be cleaned. Your tongue should be gently brushed daily because of the bacteria it tends to carry. Similarly, your gums should also be brushed regularly. When you brush your gums, you remove bacteria and help lessen any inflammation that can be the beginning stages of periodontal disease.

Brushing Too Hard and Too Often

When you brush, you aim to dislodge any food particles stuck between your teeth and remove plaque. If you’re brushing too softly, you likely cannot remove the debris and plaque. On the contrary, brushing too hard does damage your teeth. Brushing too hard can damage your tooth enamel or irritate your gums. This may lead to tooth sensitivity, increase your risk of cavities, or create gum recession. It is best to find a perfect in-between pressure and scrub in gentle circles when brushing to get a thorough clean. 

Skipping Out on Mouthwash

Many people skip mouthwash and fail to realize its importance in at-home dental care. Mouthwash offers benefits that go much further than brushing and flossing can by reducing plaque, killing bacteria, and freshening breath. Properly using mouthwash, keeping it in your mouth for 45 seconds to a minute, is essential to get the maximum disinfecting benefits. Using mouthwash can significantly benefit your oral health routine and help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

Not Staying Hydrated

Surprisingly enough, not staying hydrated can affect your teeth and gums. Water is important for your whole body, but drinking it regularly keeps your mouth’s pH balance at a good level and washes away bacteria. Bacteria tend to thrive in a dry, sticky mouth, so the next time you notice bad breath, drink some water rather than using mints.

Infrequent Dental Checkups

It is important for everyone to visit the dentist once or twice a year for a deep cleaning and to check for any advanced health problems. Unfortunately, many adults avoid regular checkups, leaving them unaware of their oral health. Dental care is an effort made by both you and your dentist. Regular dental visits also reinforce accountability to encourage you to take better care of your dental hygiene practices at home.

Work Towards A Healthy Smile With Dr. Muzny

Avoiding these common dental hygiene mistakes is vital for maintaining a healthy smile. Regular visits with your dentist will help you identify and correct any issues before any more serious problems arise. At Carrie Muzny, D.D.S.’s office, we want to ensure you are on the right track with your oral health. We offer virtual consultations and in-person appointments at our office in The Woodlands. We help clients from Benders Landing, Woodforest, Spring, and North Houston to the Conroe/Montgomery area.

Contact us today to schedule an online consultation or visit our office.

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Dental Tips, Flossing/Brushing, Gum Health

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