Woman questioning dental habits.

Good habits are key when it comes to building and maintaining healthy routines. We all know this is true when it comes to eating well, exercising, and being productive. But what about dental health?

Why You Need Good Dental Habits

Cultivating good dental habits (and nixing bad ones) is the cornerstone of great oral health. Making sure teeth and gums are healthy and free of decay and disease requires daily attention to hygiene, like 2 full minutes of brushing twice a day, along with daily flossing. But what about the bad habits?

Ditch These Bad Dental Habits

We’ll say it again: you know the basics (brush 2X a day, and don’t forget to floss). But while good habits are important, these bad dental habits may be undoing some of your well-intentioned oral hygiene practices.

Bad Brushing

Just because you are brushing twice a day doesn’t mean you are doing it right. Make sure you pay attention to the details to be sure you are getting the most out of this good habit. Start with an ADA-approved soft-bristled brush and gently brush all of the surfaces of your teeth using a small circular motion. Also, gently brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Be sure to also (gently!) brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Avoid aggressive brushing or using a hard-bristled brush. These can lead to gum damage and erosion of your dental enamel (which can mean a path to tooth sensitivity and decay).

Rushing Through Your Routine

We know you’re busy, and that makes it easy to rush through your dental routine. But spending just 30 seconds to clean your teeth and gums isn’t enough to ensure thorough cleaning, and this can cost you time in the long run if you require extensive dental work to manage the consequences.

Most people overestimate the time they spend on oral hygiene. Set a timer so that you brush for a minimum of two minutes twice a day. Take the time to floss daily as well.

Chewing on Ice

Chewing on ice may seem harmless and even healthy (hey, it’s water right?), but it can actually be pretty harmful for your teeth. The extreme cold causes the surfaces of your teeth to contract. Add that to the fact that ice is quite hard, and this can cause your teeth to crack or chip.

While you are at it, avoid chomping on any non-food items in order to prevent damage to teeth. This means no chewing on pens or using teeth as tools, such as opening packages.

Snacking All Day

Constant snacking throughout the day might keep you feeling satiated, but, unfortunately, it can also mean your teeth are exposed to too much sugar and acid continuously, increasing the risk of cavities. Your teeth (and even your waistline) may thank you for keeping your nutrition intake to three balanced meals per day. And if you do choose to have a snack, look for healthy, tooth-friendly options like fresh fruits, crunch vegetables, or calcium-rich cheese.

Sugar Overload

Similarly to frequent snacking, making food choices that involve sugar are not your best option. As you are probably aware, excessive sugar can encourage tooth decay. Bacteria break down the sugar that sits on teeth, releasing acidic byproducts and eroding enamel.

Smoking or Vaping

Tobacco use, whether through smoking or vaping, can be risky for your oral health. Ingredients in both cigarettes and vapes can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, and significantly up your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Quitting these bad habits is one of the best decisions you can make for your health.

Skipping Dental Visits

Six months can go by fast, so we understand it can be hard to remember your regular dental checkups. But don’t neglect them! These checkups help your dentist to catch issues much earlier and prevent more significant problems down the road. In addition, having professional cleanings twice a year augments your regular daily dental cleaning habits.

Call us now to book your next appointment and start prioritizing your dental health today.