Despite all the information that exists about what affects teeth, it is very rare that people actually have good dental health habits. This is not due to laziness so much as it is due to so many factors that negatively affect dental health. Nearly everything we consume affects dental health in some aspect. Therefore, the point is to detect things that affect long-term dental health that can also affect other health areas.
There are five dental habits that will affect long-term health, and they should be paid careful attention to and micromanaged very intimately. Some of these habits are ones that you may think are harmless. The habits that appear the most harmless are in fact sometimes the most harmful, as they are usually the ones that are the most ignored.
Habit #1: Not Brushing The Right Way
There is much more to brushing than just grabbing a toothbrush, putting some toothpaste on it, then brushing. The kind of toothpaste you use and how you brush are just as important as anything else. Most toothpaste contains fluoride. While we are taught that fluoride improves in dental health, many other experts argue that fluoride only makes teeth appear to be healthy, only improving what teeth look like on the surface.
Generic toothpaste with fluoride contains sugars that actually harm teeth. It is much better to use toothpaste without fluoride. Brushing in straight lines is also not a good idea. Because there are small, microscopic spaces in between teeth, particles can get caught in between them even when brushing. To fix this, brush in circular motions. Then adopt this second habit.
Habit #2: Using Mouthwash After Brushing
This is one habit that should be followed. Mouthwash will kill germs that develop in the gums, which will still develop even after brushing or flossing. Rinsing your mouth after brushing with mouthwash instead of water will solve this problem. It will also freshen up germs that build up inside of your mouth that cause bad breath.
Just like with toothpaste, selecting a mouthwash is also very important. Make sure you are selecting a mouthwash that does not contain a lot of sugars. Some mouthwashes contain more sugar content than others. While these sugars are not as harmful as refined sugars, they still need to be avoided whenever possible.
Habit #3: Consuming Things With A Lot Of Sugar And Acid
While it is common knowledge that sugar and acid will cause tooth decay, there do exist some things that we believe are “healthy” even though consuming them will ruin not only dental health, but will also lead to suboptimal general health. One of these is almost anything involving fruit. Fruit contains acid and sugar on its own, but when it is pasteurized, bottled, and manufactured, the combination gets even worse.
The biggest culprit of this is orange and apple juice. The next time you buy a bottle of one of these beverages, check the sugar content. You will discover that there is just as much sugar in these juices as most sodas. There is just as much acid, as well.
Habit #4: Brushing/Flossing Too Much
“Wait a minute,” you ask. “Is there really such a thing as brushing/flossing too much?” Why yes. Yes there is.
When you clean teeth too much, they will get used to being cleaned, and this means that the decaying process will get faster if they are not constantly cleaned. While it is a good thing to clean your teeth regularly, it is also important to let them fight off the germs that they encounter naturally.
Habit #5: Not Developing A Solid Dental Hygiene Routine
Routine is everything, and taking care of your teeth is no exception to this. One of the worst dental habits you can create has nothing to do with consuming things that damage your teeth. As mentioned earlier, nearly everything damages your teeth. But not having a solid hygiene routine for your teeth will hurt them the most.
Having a routine that can be followed daily is the single best thing that you can do for your teeth. Once you have developed a rock solid routine, you will likely develop other routines that will improve your general health as well. You must also a see a dentist regularly to ensure your dental health.
About The Author:
Dr. Chris Campus is a dentist at Sorrento Dental Care. He loves sharing his knowledge with his patients so they can make better decisions about their oral health.