Many of us brush our teeth on autopilot, but our teeth and gums need TLC if you want to keep them healthy.
And you know you’re not fooling anyone at the dentist’s office when you say you floss regularly–they can tell whether you are or not, and in truth, you’re only cheating yourself of good health with poor dental hygiene.
Break your bad brush habits before it’s too late.
Bad dental habit: Brushing with too much pressure
Lighten up. “When you apply too much pressure, you’re increasing abrasion and this can encourage your gums to recede and increase sensitivity,” says registered dental hygienist Clayton De Corte.
Bad dental habit: Using an old toothbrush
De Corte recommends replacing your toothbrush seasonally, that is, every three to four months. However, get a new brush if you’ve been sick with the cold or flu, he says.
Bad dental habit: Brushing right after drinking pop
Although you might think you’re doing your teeth a favour by brushing right after drinking a soft drink, these sugary beverages can actually soften your enamel and brushing immediately after drinking one could damage your teeth, says De Corte.
Bad dental habit: Not brushing (or flossing) before bedtime
When you skip brushing before hitting the sack, you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth many hours of it being inactive to do work on eroding your enamel and inflame your gums. Floss before or after you brush (De Corte personally prefers to floss before brushing so you can loosen up food and bacteria and get it out when you rinse when you brush) and then brush for at least two minutes.
Bad dental habit: Using whitening toothpastes on sensitive teeth
“Whitening toothpastes are slightly more abrasive in order to slough off staining,” says De Corte. So if you have sensitive teeth and want a whitening toothpaste, make sure to use one that is specifically designed for sensitive teeth.