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Common Bad Dental Habits to Avoid

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on June 27, 2015


A woman flossing her teethMaintaining a healthy smile requires patients to diligently practice proper dental care. Most people brush twice a day, but many are not aware that brushing alone is not enough. While restorative dentistry treatments can help get your oral health back on track, it's best to prevent damage in the first place. Brooklyn dentist Eugene D. Stanislaus offers this overview of common bad dental habits to avoid so you can ensure a great smile for years to come.

Bad Dental Habits and Tips to Avoid Them

Even if you brush twice a day, you may have developed some bad dental habits. Avoid the following common bad dental habits with these tips.

  • Not flossing: Not flossing is probably the number one most common bad dental habit. Flossing is vital to maintaining gum health, reducing plaque and tartar build-up along the gum line, and preventing decay between the teeth. It can almost be said with certainty that those who don't floss will develop gum disease, so be sure to take the time to floss along each side of each tooth at least once a day.
  • Not brushing long enough: The teeth need to be brushed for at least two minutes at least twice a day. Brushing for less time can leave behind plaque and bacteria, resulting in gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Not using proper brushing technique: Did you know that the way you brush is just as important, if not more so, than how often you brush? Even if you brush the recommended two times a day, if you're not using proper techniques your brushing is not going to be as effective as possible, leaving the gum line and back teeth at higher risk of damage. Use short strokes and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line to properly brush the teeth.
  • Using the wrong toothbrush: A toothbrush may not be right for a number of reasons. It may be too large to reach all areas of the mouth, the bristles may be too hard or too soft, or the toothbrush may need to be replaced. Pick a toothbrush that comfortably fits within your mouth, allowing you to easily reach the back teeth. When it comes to bristles, hard bristles can irritate the gums and even damage the tooth enamel, while soft bristles may be too soft to be effective. Choose a bristle that feels comfortable along your gums and tongue but also leaves your teeth feeling clean. Also, be sure to change your toothbrush at least once every three months because the bristles wear down over time.
  • Brushing too much or too hard: When it comes to brushing, more isn't always better. Using too much pressure or brushing excessively can actually damage the teeth by wearing down the outer protective layer. When the enamel wears away, it's gone forever, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.
  • Not brushing at all:Of course, not brushing at all or only once a day is one of the biggest bad habits to avoid when it comes to your oral health.
  • Skipping dental check-ups and cleanings: It's quite common for people to go years without seeing their dentist. Skipping regular dental check-ups and cleanings can lead to major dental health problems like severe gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. See your dentist at least once every six months to catch oral health issues early and keep your smile healthy for years to come.

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Don't let bad dental habits ruin your smile. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Stanislaus today

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