Maintaining good oral hygiene is an essential part of overall health, but some dental practices can actually be damaging to your teeth. A Gulf Breeze family dentist suggests these popular dental practices that may be doing more harm than good.
- Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
Many people believe that a harder toothbrush will better clean their teeth, but this is not the case. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause damage to the enamel on your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and even tooth decay. Instead, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every three to four months.
- Brushing too hard
While brushing your teeth thoroughly is important, brushing too hard can be just as damaging as using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Brushing too hard can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear down, leading to increased sensitivity and even gum recession. Be sure to use a gentle circular motion when brushing your teeth, and avoid using too much pressure.
- Using toothpicks or other sharp objects to clean your teeth
Many people use toothpicks, dental picks, or even sharp objects like safety pins to clean between their teeth, but this can be incredibly damaging to both your teeth and your gums. Using sharp objects can cause cuts and abrasions in your mouth, leading to infection and even tooth loss. Instead, use floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth.
- Using whitening treatments too frequently
While everyone wants a bright, white smile, using whitening treatments too frequently can actually be damaging to your teeth. Overusing whitening treatments can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear down, leading to increased sensitivity and tooth decay. Be sure to follow the instructions on any whitening treatment carefully, and consult with your dentist if you have any concerns.
- Using mouthwash too frequently
While mouthwash can be an effective part of an oral hygiene routine, using it too frequently can actually be damaging to your teeth. Many types of mouthwash contain alcohol, which can cause dry mouth and damage to the enamel on your teeth. Be sure to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash and use it only as directed.
- Grinding your teeth
Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can cause significant damage to your teeth over time. This can lead to increased sensitivity, jaw pain, and tooth loss. If you grind your teeth, speak with your dentist about possible treatments, such as a custom mouthguard.
- Chewing on ice or other hard objects
Many people enjoy chewing on ice or other hard objects, which can be incredibly damaging to their teeth. Chewing on hard objects can cause chips and cracks in your teeth, increasing sensitivity and even tooth loss. Instead, choose soft snacks like fruit or yogurt to satisfy your cravings.