You may know how important oral health is but what steps are you actually taking to care for your teeth? Do you visit the dentist regularly, floss and brush as recommended? And what are some of the things that your dentist would really like you to stop doing?
1. Honesty Is The Best Flossing Policy
Lying to your dentist about how often you floss is a wasted effort. They can clearly tell by the state of your gums (gingiva) whether you are flossing every day like you claim or if you have only made a concerted effort for the 3 days preceding your dental visit. It is far better to be honest about how often you really floss and let your dentist show you the right method so that you can benefit from regular flossing.
2. DIY Teeth Whitening Kits
At home teeth whitening kits are mostly ineffective and simply do not provide you with the same results as professional teeth whitening. Even those kits that do work have limitations like not reaching the areas between the teeth resulting in uneven bleaching. Over and above this, you are damaging your teeth. The DIY kits contain chemicals that corrode and thin the enamel which is the hard, protective layer on the teeth. This results in tooth sensitivity and makes the teeth more vulnerable to other oral health problems. It can also result in gum irritation and receding gums. Professional teeth whitening at the dentist will have far superior results without the risk associated with home whitening kits.
3. A Slice Of Lemon/Lime
A slice of lemon or lime or a couple of drops of the juice may make your water taste great but is not so great for your teeth. Lemon and lime are highly acidic and even the smallest amount can have negative oral health consequences. It can damage the enamel, cause teeth to corrode and decay as well as lead to gum disease and bad breath. Plenty of plain water washes away acids, sugar and other elements in the mouth that are bad for the teeth and contributes to healthy teeth and gums.
4. A Hard Brush With Reality
Scrubbing your teeth with a hard bristle tooth brush is a big no-no. Not only are you scraping away at the enamel but your are hurting your gums. Change to a soft bristle toothbrush and brush gently for longer to make your teeth last longer.
5. Go Electric
Electric toothbrushes come highly recommended by dentists as opposed to the traditional manual kind. Manual brushing can lead to over-brushing in some areas and entirely neglecting others. Electric toothbrushes provide for more consistent brushing including a timer to ensure that each tooth gets the attention that it deserves.
6. What Nature Intended
You teeth are intended to bite and chew food in order to be swallowed – NOT hard man-made objects, fingernails, the back of pens and pencils, ice or even hard candy. Also, your teeth are not designed to open bottles, soda cans or any other things.
7. Scaring The Kids
Stop scaring your kids about visits to the dentist even if you are just teasing or kidding. Also, if you cannot be calm and supportive, stay in the waiting room and let the dentist give your child a good experience so that they don’t develop an enduring fear.
8. Toothpaste Trends
Toothpaste is specifically designed to meet all the needs of cleaning teeth so stick the traditional types. Avoid the latest trends such as charcoal which can be far to abrasive or oil pulling. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that oil pulling has any benefit.
9. Finish The Course
If you have been prescribed antibiotics, it is crucial to take the medication as prescribed. One pill, every six to 8 hours for 3-5 days after meals are commonly the instructions for taking antibiotics – follow the instructions to the T. This also means that you should finish the entire course. Just because the pain is gone or you are feeling better doesn’t mean that the underlying cause such as infection or bacteria have disappeared. So stick to dentist’s orders when taking your medication.