Bad Dental Habits and How to Avoid Them
Even with regular brushing and flossing, it's still possible to have bad dental habits. Bad dental habits leave the teeth vulnerable to decay and the gums susceptible to periodontal disease. General dentistry treatments can help combat bad dental habits, helping you to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. To receive your personalized tips on avoiding bad dental habits, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Long Island, NY dentist Louis Buono. In the meantime, learn more about bad dental habits and how to protect your smile in this overview.
Common Bad Dental Habits
Bad dental habits can lead to serious oral health issues, like tooth decay, root canal infections, gum disease, and tooth loss. This is because bad dental habits leave harmful plaque, tartar, bacteria, and food debris on the teeth and gums. Fortunately, correcting bad dental habits is easy once you understand just what they are.
- Not flossing: Not flossing is one of the most common, and harmful, bad dental habits. Skipping flossing leaves plaque and bacteria between the teeth and along the gum line, increasing the risk of gum disease and decay between the teeth. Flossing should be done at least once a day to protect your oral health.
- Brushing infrequently: Skipping brushing or not brushing at all is another common bad dental habit. The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, after breakfast and after eating your last meal, or snack, of the night, to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Brushing too quickly: Simply brushing twice a day does not guarantee effective brushing. Many people speed through brushing their teeth, leaving behind plaque and increasing the risk of tooth decay. The teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, using small strokes, to effectively remove plaque, bacteria, and food remnants from the teeth.
- Brushing too aggressively: Although it may seem like using heavy pressure when brushing the teeth would clean them better than a light hand, it can actually cause damage. Brushing aggressively with excessive pressure, a hard-bristled toothbrush, or abrasive toothpaste can wear down the enamel and increase the risk of decay.
- Avoiding the dentist: Not seeing the dentist every six months is not uncommon and can let dental damage go undetected and untreated until it becomes a major problem.
How to Avoid Bad Dental Habits
Avoiding bad dental habits and making an effort to use proper dental care habits is one of the best ways to protect your smile from dental damage. Practice these tips to help protect your oral health.
- Brush the teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid wearing down the enamel.
- Use proper technique when brushing, including small strokes, holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and brushing for a full two minutes.
- Floss everyday, being sure to floss along each side of each tooth and along the gum line.
- Schedule dental exams and cleanings every six months to protect your smile from decay and gum disease.
Schedule a Consultation
For more tips on avoiding bad dental habits, or to discuss your treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buono.