From a young age, the majority of us are aware that brushing twice a day is an essential part of keeping our teeth healthy. However, many adults are not educated enough about particular habits, that they believe to be healthy, but that are in fact harming their teeth. Educate yourself on these and how to avoid them by checking out our list below, and the reasons behind exactly why these habits are no friend to your smile.
Brushing too hard
It’s incredibly tempting to brush rigorously and it makes sense to believe that this will result in cleaner teeth. Unfortunately the opposite is true, as brushing too hard can have serious, irrevocable consequences for your teeth.
Over brushing causes your tooth enamel to wear down, and once tooth enamel has been lost, with it goes the protective coating your teeth need to prevent erosion. You may notice gradual tooth sensitivity overtime if this starts to happen, which will worsen overtime. During your routine appointments with us in Norwich, we can advise on the foods to avoid to stop this from worsening and causing cavities and decay. Your hygienist can also teach you how to use your brush effectively and the right amount of pressure to apply.
Meanwhile, vigorous brushing can also cause complications with your gum tissue, which will begin to recess and expose dentin that isn’t protected with enamel. Tooth roots are much more susceptible outside stimuli and will react to acids in your mouth adversely, so its essential that you take preventative measures to stop gum recession from advancing.
Brushing too soon after eating
To understand why brushing after eating is harmful, it’s important to first understand how food reacts in your mouth when you chew.
Food and drink that’s acidic such as citrus fruits, wine, and confectionary reacts intensely with the bacteria in your mouth, creating acids that leave your teeth in a temporarily weakened state. You should endeavour to wait for a minimum of half an hour before brushing after consuming such food and drink, as your enamel to give it the opportunity to wash these acids through saliva stimulation. You can speed up this process by drinking plenty of water too.
Neglecting to attend routine appointments
Because there is so much emphasis on prevention when it comes to maintaining good dental health, routine appointments are essential, even if your teeth look and feel fine. Problems like cavities and severe decay can often go unnoticed, unless they are spotted by a dentist, which is why it’s paramount to attend our Norwich dental practice bi-annually.
Shunning the hygienist
According to statistics, as many as 33% of people in England are shunning the hygienist altogether. This is almost certainly the reason why gum disease remains the biggest reason for tooth loss in adults in the U.K.
Visits to the hygienist are an opportunity to have stubborn staining like plaque and tartar removed from your gum line, and even if you’re super sensible with your brushing habits you will always have some build up that needs to be seen to. As we covered above, acids are produced every single time you eat, and saliva will never be 100% efficient at washing these away. Hence why hygienist appointments at our Norwich dental practice are an absolute must.
Sticking to a manual toothbrush
A ground-breaking study (which took 11 years to complete) has concluded that electric toothbrushes are far superior to their manual counterparts. This study has put long-term speculation to bed and as dentists, we are strongly behind it. Electric toothbrushes help to prevent overbrushing, as they’re fitted with a light that shines red each time you’re applying too much pressure – so simple yet so effective!
Electric toothbrushes (notably those with rotating heads) oscillate to clean your teeth and are much more reliable at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, and some include a built-in timer, so you know you’re getting your 2 minutes in each time.
Neglecting to tend to a dry mouth
Saliva plays an essential role in cleansing your mouth throughout the day, washing away food particles and bacteria. When your mouth is dry, the steady flow of saliva can’t play this role, nor can it help to destroy viruses, combat the bacteria that causes decay or neutralise the acids caused by plaque. Chronic dry mouth can cause a myriad of problems including poor oral hygiene, salivary gland stones, susceptibility to thrush, bad breath and mouth ulcers.
Drinking the recommended 2 litres a day of water will help to keep your mouth healthy and stimulate the flow of saliva. There are also foods you can eat that will encourage this flow, including leafy greens, celery and cheese.
Tailored treatment at Corner House Dental
Everything we do at our Norwich dental practice is individualised. Whether you need predominantly hygienist appointments to manage and treat gum disease, you’re looking for general advice on using dental aids, or you’d like a full smile makeover, our dentists are here to listen.
As ever, if there’s anything you’ve read in this blog that arouses questions, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or hygienist during your routine dentist appointment with us here in Norwich. Contact our friendly reception team to book yourself in today.