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Top 7 Habits That Harm Your Oral Hygiene

Updated on March 25, 2014

If you’re confident that you know everything about keeping your teeth clean and healthy, then think again. You might unconsciously be doing things you didn’t know could potentially harm your oral hygiene. These things could be the exact same things you normally do every day for sheer fun.

To reassure yourself, here's a quick list!

Brushing your teeth too hard.

Frequent usage of firm-bristled toothbrush and exertion of too much pressure to brush teeth may immediately lead to the permanent wearing away of the protective enamel, which may then cause cavities and tooth sensitivity. To avoid such damages, go for a soft brush (with a compact head that easily moves around) and scrub it against your teeth in circular motion for two minutes at least twice a day.

Using the wrong toothpaste.

Some toothpastes are just too abrasive for the teeth. If it feels gritty, then chances are, it’s doing way more than clean teeth: it eats away at your enamel and triggers receding gums. Ignore those that are labeled with “tartar control”; the only ingredient you really need is fluoride. If you’re unsure about specifics, your best bet is to pick those recommended by dentists: Mentadent and Sensodyne Fresh Mint.

Skipping flossing.

Brushing your teeth is never enough; you have to floss them, too. Why? Because bacteria can easily develop into plaque, which causes gum disease and cavities. Flossing once a day is essential if you want to get rid of it. To ensure that you don’t skip this simple task, keep floss and other toiletries in your beauty kit.

Overdrinking of soda.

Be it diet or regular, carbonated sodas contain phosphoric acid that has enough capacity to erode teeth over a period of time. If you can’t help it, then at least try to use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Once you’re done, clean your teeth straightaway by brushing.

Regular snacking.

Whenever you eat something, especially if it’s a bit on the sugary or starchy side, the bacteria that typically live in your mouth produce acids to break down food. However, these same acids can also attack teeth, which could lead to tooth decay. To prevent this from happening, eat raw fruits and vegetables with or after meals. If not, chew some sugarless gum.

Munching on sweets and using your teeth as opening tools.

When you rip open potato-chip bags and untangle knots with your teeth, you are actually increasing the risk of having breaks and cracks in your teeth. Same holds true for when you chew solid candy and chocolate bars, as well as ice cubes.

Avoiding the dentist.

You’ve probably heard about how people should get their teeth cleaned twice a year. While that’s good, that’s actually an arbitrary advice. Some people may, in fact, need to see a dentist as often as every three months to keep oral diseases at bay. Evaluate your needs and act on them.

Most of us do these things on a daily basis without ever realizing their negative effects. We don’t see much of the harm they bring in because we choose not to – until we already feel some sort of pain. Spare yourself the trouble, expenses, and discomfort of toothache by seeing a doctor now.

Should you need more advice about preventive dental care, just click here.


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I am an adocate for drinking water only and other beverages on occasion. Soda does a lot of damage on your entire body. Good information!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Oh my, I'm a senior citizen using false teeth and now I know why -- I have done all 7 on your list except using my teeth to open bottles. In my time, cavities used to be filled with black stuff, rather than the nice, white fillings we have today. I had a lot of black cavitie fillings. My daughter has great teeth because when she was a baby, whenever she didn't want to brush her teeth I'd just open my mouth and it would terrify her.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and very useful.

      Thanks for sharing and I now look forward to many more.



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