Are You Overdoing Your Oral Hygiene Routine?
It is always nice to see patients being proactive about their oral health.
You can look forward to easier dental checkups and teeth cleanings when you brush regularly. Flossing also helps to prevent the need for more intensive gum disease treatments.
Yet, there can also be too much of a good thing when it comes to trying to take care of your teeth. We recommend following these strategies to make sure that you do not do more harm than good with your oral hygiene routine.
Be Gentle With Your Gum Care
Your gums are one of the most vulnerable areas of your mouth. The areas where your gums meet your teeth are prone to infection if biofilm is not removed regularly.
Flossing is one way to get these areas clean, but you can also hurt your gums by doing this too hard. Never pop the floss between your teeth. This can lead to painful cuts. Instead, gently move the string between your teeth using an up and down motion.
Watch Out For Aggressive Toothbrushing
People also tend to brush their teeth too hard. As long as you brush your teeth two to three times a day, you should not have enough plaque build up to require scrubbing.
In fact, your dental hygienist can remove any hardened plaque using safe techniques in our office during your routine cleanings. Aggressive toothbrushing can cause teeth sensitivity and enamel erosion.
Be sure to mention these issues to us during your visits so that we can look for damage caused by improper brushing.
Beware of Using Too Much Mouthwash
Fresh breath gives you confidence in social situations. You may also use mouthwash to address oral health issues such as frequent cavities or gum disease.
However, some mouthwashes can dry out your mouth if you use them too much. Ones that contain fluoride or hydrogen peroxide can also cause damage if you use them too frequently.
As a general rule, you should only use mouthwash once a day, and check with us to find one that is safe.
Minimize Home Whitening Treatments
Similar to fresh breath, white teeth are considered to be a sign of health and beauty. However, there can also be too much of a good thing when it comes to whitening treatments.
Using whitening toothpaste, mouth rinses and trays together on a daily basis can lead to gingivitis and enamel erosion. Instead, get professional treatments done in our office.
You can also ask us which products are best to use at home. This way, you can leave the others out of your hygiene routine.
Ask Your Dentist to Check Your Technique
The best way to know if you are doing your oral hygiene routine properly is to ask for a professional assessment at your checkup.
While it might feel a little strange to brush or floss while we watch, the truth is that we only want to help. Often, just a simple change, such as holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, is all it takes to make your efforts safer and more effective.
We can also show you ways to floss your teeth that are easier. For instance, you might be more comfortable using a floss pick or holder.
Your dedication to keeping your mouth clean plays a huge role in your overall oral health. While we applaud you being proactive, we also want to make sure that you are careful not to go overboard.
Choose a soft toothbrush, use gentle motions and be careful how you floss. Soon, you will see the benefits of learning how to care for your teeth properly such as reduced sensitivity.