All it takes is one bad habit to undo some of the results of your good oral health routine — like brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Fortunately, it’s never too late to break a less than healthy habit. If any of these behaviors sound familiar to you, here’s how to stop them.
It’s no surprise that these habits can scratch, crack or chip your teeth or damage a filling:
These behaviors can also wear down tooth enamel and irritate soft tissues inside teeth — causing regular toothaches.
Flossing every day is an important part of your oral health routine. But only when you use actual floss. People have reported using unusual items to remove food from teeth, such as fingernails, cutlery, safety pins and strands of hair. In addition to being ineffective, many of these items are obviously unsafe and unsanitary. Not only can they cause injury or fill your mouth with germs, but 42% of people who used unusual items to floss said it caused them pain.
While it’s crucial to your oral health to brush twice a day, brushing right after a meal is not always ideal.
If you have consumed something with citric acid like limes, lemons, grapefruits or oranges, you can damage tooth enamel by brushing too soon.
Brush your teeth before eating something acidic and then drink a glass of water after eating to rinse away acids. Or wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush.
Good oral health doesn’t stop with brushing. If you store your toothbrush in a closed space like a drawer, bacteria can build up and produce acids that cause cavities and gum disease.
If you continue using the same toothbrush for too long, it won’t remove as much plaque, which could lead to cavities.
Avoid germs by storing your toothbrush far enough from the sink to prevent splashing and at least four feet away from the toilet.
If you share cups, straws or silverware, you’re also sharing germs.
You can spread cold and flu germs along with other diseases through the mouth. You might also harm little ones’ developing teeth by spreading cavity-causing bacteria to them.
A recent outbreak of lung disease and death linked to vaping has made it clear that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to regular cigarettes.
Vaping also stains teeth, causes dry mouth and makes it easy for bacteria to collect in your mouth. This can lead to cavities, tooth loss and gum disease.
Copyright © 2021 Moda Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.