Maintaining good dental health is something that sounds pretty simple: be conscious of your brushing and flossing habits, stay away from sugar-packed candies, and visit the dentist for regular cleanings and oral health exams. But as most people already know, actually maintaining good oral hygiene isn’t always so simple. In fact, there are many ways that you could be hurting your dental hygiene without even realizing it! For example,
- Too much brushing. If you over-brush your teeth by brushing them multiple times a day (even when there’s no food stuck in between them), or if you use hard-bristled toothbrushes all the time, you could actually be damaging your teeth by causing the exterior enamel to wear off. If this happens, tooth enamel won’t grow back. If you start experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth and you think you’re brushing too often, check in with your dentist for some advice on what to do.
- Whitening strips. Again, these can do some serious damage to your tooth enamel if you use over-the-counter whitening products (most notably whitening strips). While these products are safe to use from time to time, damage can occur if you use whitening products without any supervision from a dental expert. If you can’t reach the shade of white you want to see after a couple tries, it’s best to visit your local dentist or cosmetic dentistry practice for professional treatments.
- Harmful foods. As stated previously, it’s pretty obvious that you want to stay away from anything completely made out of sugar, and if you’re concerned with keeping your teeth white, you’ll also want to steer clear of things like coffee. But it’s important to remember that many other foods can affect your overall oral hygiene, too: acidic foods (like lemons) can erode tooth enamel, hard foods have been known to cause tooth breakage (everyone knows someone who’s had a bad experience with peanut brittle), and a lot of drinks can be healthy but also contain enough sugar to harm teeth (like sports drinks, or sweet tea), especially if you consume these drinks all day long. It’s not always possible to eliminate all of these risky foods from your diet, but it is possible to stay aware of what you’re eating and drinking.
Remember — your teeth are incredibly valuable, and your oral hygiene plays an important role in the overall health of your body.