We can be pretty tough on our teeth – slurping coffee, crunching boiled sweets, or chomping away on hard foods – meaning we stain, chip, or break them from time to time. While sometimes the damage is obvious, there are likely dental mistakes you’re making on a daily basis. Without knowing it, these mistakes can add up over the years leaving you with gum recession, bad breath, or worse. Here are 5 ways to spot if you’re being too harsh on your teeth and how to make simple changes:
# 1: Brushing too hard
While we certainly appreciate your enthusiasm, harder isn’t better when it comes to brushing your teeth because the plaque you’re trying to remove is actually soft. The reality is that by scrubbing and sawing at your teeth, you run the risk of stripping enamel and harming your gums. What’s more, because you have less control over where the bristles go, you might not be cleaning your teeth very thoroughly either. So go easy on the pressure, use a soft toothbrush, and brush in a gentle circular motion – trust us, your teeth will thank you for a more delicate approach.
# 2: Brushing at the wrong time
You were likely taught to brush after every meal…but actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. Brushing your teeth straight after eating or drinking anything acidic actually does more damage than good. How? Foods that are acidic weaken tooth enamel for around 30 minutes after you’ve eaten – so brushing within that time frame actually strips away enamel and leaves you more susceptible to cavities. If you need to freshen up immediately, try rinsing with water or popping in a chewing gum. But as soon 30 minutes have passed, you’re free to brush away!
# 3: Not replacing your toothbrush
It would seem that most people don’t consider replacing their toothbrush until it starts to fall apart – and the statistics tell us that 1 in 5 of you can’t even remember when you last changed your toothbrush… But using an old worn toothbrush means you won’t be cleaning your mouth thoroughly as the bristles lose their strength and stop removing plaque effectively. We’d recommend buying a multi pack, so you’ve always got a spare at the ready.
# 4: Ignoring pain
Pain is usually a sign there is something wrong and shouldn’t be ignored. While you may be able to soothe your discomfort with painkillers, you should still visit your dentist and have the underlying cause checked out. Leaving the problem to fester is not your best option and can lead to all sorts of unwanted dental dramas. In short, the sooner you make the appointment, the easier it will be for us to fix.
# 5: Stop forgetting about your tongue
Your tongue also suffers a lot from what we choose to eat and drink – after all it’s right there with your teeth on the front line when it comes to the battle of the bacteria. But despite this, many people still forget to show it the TLC it deserves. So don’t leave it out, make sure you regularly give your tongue a good old clean with a tongue scraper – it helps to prevent stinky breath and leaves your mouth feeling fresher.
Are you making any of these 5 mistakes? For more tips and tricks on how best to look after your dental health, arrange a visit to our hygienist Joanne. Call us today on 0116 251 9647.