Did you know that in the U.S., nine in 10 adults have had a dental cavity? Or that half of adults aged 30 and older exhibit gum disease symptoms?
No wonder then, that an estimated 120 million people in the country have at least one missing tooth! Worse, there are 36 million U.S. adults who are completely toothless.
The thing is, many of these teeth and gum problems arise from preventable dental mistakes. From toothbrushing mistakes to gargling too much, these can all wear down the enamel of the teeth.
Ready to learn more about these bad dental habits that you should kick ASAP? Then let’s dive right into it!
1. Brushing Your Teeth for Less than Two Minutes
Did you know that most people only dedicate 45 seconds to brushing their teeth? While that may seem long enough, it doesn’t do a good job in removing plaque. As such, brush for at least two minutes, so you can get rid of up to 26% more of this sticky, tooth decay-causing film.
Speaking of brushing-related dental care mistakes, avoid brushing right after eating. This is especially true if you’ve had something acidic, like citrus fruits or soda.
The acid in these foods or drinks weakens the teeth’s enamel. If you brush right after consuming them, you may also end up brushing away tiny of particles of enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes to an hour before you brush your pearly whites.
2. Excessive Gargling
As helpful as mouthwashes are to keeping microbes in your mouth at bay, too much of it can lead to increased tartar. Excessive gargling is one of the common dental mistakes that can stain the teeth an ugly brown. It can also leave a bad taste in your mouth, or worse, decrease your taste sensation.
That said, excessive use of mouthwash is one of the worst dental mistakes you should avoid. Gargle only twice a day and for no more than 30 seconds each time.
3. Reaching Out for (the Wrong Kind of) Chewing Gum
Over 173 million folks in the U.S. consume chewing/bubble gum every year. Unfortunately, many of these are actual candies, loaded with tooth decay-causing sugar.
There’s still some good news for all you gum lovers out there. The American Dental Association says that sugarless gum is good for your teeth and gums. Chewing on a gum helps boost the flow of saliva, which can “neutralize” acids from other foods.
Be sure that you reach out for sugarless gums that come with the ADA Seal though. Having the Seal means the sugar-free gum has met the ADA’s safety requirements.
4. Drinking Too Much of Certain Beverages
Aside from citrusy drinks and sodas, coffee, tea, and wine are also huge enemies of your teeth. These beverages can erode the enamel, making the teeth thin and brittle. Plus, drinking too much of them can cause permanent staining of the teeth.
This doesn’t mean you should completely give them up, but you’d want to cut back on their intake. Drink water between sips of these beverages to wash away the colored liquids from your teeth. And be sure to brush your teeth at least 30 to 60 minutes after enjoying your cup of joe or glass of wine!
5. Ignoring Signs of Dental Disasters
Don’t put off getting quality dental services if your toothache has become a daily event. You should also pay a dentist a visit if you’ve noticed constant red, swollen, or bleeding gums. All these are symptoms of tooth decay or gum disease that needs treatment ASAP.
Avoid these Dental Mistakes to Avert Dental Disasters
There you have it, the most common dental mistakes and how to avoid them. By being mindful of your oral hygiene and health, you can nip possible tooth decay or gum disease in the bud. Best of all, these will let you keep your natural teeth free of stain and for as long as you can!
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