Avoiding Bad Dental Habits

July 23, 2016 — by Kenneth W. Coffey, DDS
Tags: General Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

A woman holding her hand to her face in painGood oral hygiene is key to maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile, but did you know the way you brush may actually be doing more harm than good? Even with the best intentions, you may be practicing bad dental habits. Restorative dentistry treatments can help reverse the damage caused by bad dental habits to reveal a gorgeous, healthy smile. Taking steps to correct bad dental habits can help prevent dental damage and protect oral health. To receive your personalized tips for avoiding bad dental habits, schedule a consultation with Orland Park, IL dentist Kenneth W. Coffey. In the meantime, start avoiding bad dental habits now with these tips.

What Are the Most Common Bad Dental Habits?

Bad dental habits can leave plaque, tartar, and bacteria on the gums and teeth, leading to serious oral health problems, like gum disease, tooth decay, root canal infections, and tooth loss. Understanding bad dental habits can help you take steps to correct your oral hygiene practices and keep your smile at its best. These common bad dental habits are some of the most destructive to oral health and should be avoided:

  • Not brushing at least twice a day: Although it's preferable to brush after eating, that's not always feasible. At the very least, the teeth should be brushed twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Not brushing twice a day leaves plaque, food debris, and bacteria on the teeth. This increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Not brushing long enough: Many people are guilty of brushing their teeth too quickly. In order to effectively clean the teeth, the teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes at each brushing.
  • Not using proper brushing techniques: Using improper brushing techniques can leave plaque on the teeth. Using proper technique, like holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, using small motions, and thoroughly brushing all surfaces of the teeth, is important to achieving an effective cleaning.
  • Brushing aggressively: Brushing aggressively, like using a hard-bristled toothbrush or heavy pressure, may seem like it would clean the teeth well, but it can actually cause dental damage. Aggressive brushing can wear the enamel, leaving the teeth vulnerable to decay.
  • Not flossing: Brushing alone is not enough to prevent gum disease, which is why flossing daily is necessary for good oral health. Flossing removes plaque from the gum line and between the teeth, where brushing can't reach.
  • Skipping trips to the dentist: It's not uncommon for people to skip seeing the dentist, especially when they don't notice any dental issues, but skipping regular checkups and cleanings can allow minor issues to become severe dental problems. Seeing your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning can help prevent damage and keep the teeth free of plaque and tartar buildup.

Tips to Avoid Bad Dental Habits

Avoiding bad dental habits is easy when you follow these tips:

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Brush for a full two minutes
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and light pressure
  • Floss each side of every tooth and as far along the gum line as possible everyday
  • See your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning

Schedule a Consultation

For more dental care tips or to discover your treatment options, contact our offices to schedule a consultation with Dr. Coffey.

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