Girl with beautiful teeth smilingYou already know that the key to keeping your teeth strong and healthy is through brushing and flossing every day. The sad part is it’s easy to do it wrong or slip into routines that could cause cavities or tooth decay. Some common mistakes include vigorous brushing and using a firm-bristled toothbrush, which could wear away the enamel and make your gums bleed.

Overzealous brushing is not the only thing you should mind. Glenlake Dental Care and other general dentists in Glenview share other mistakes you could be making when taking care of your mouth:

  • Doing other things while brushing. If you’re cleaning your teeth while scrolling through your social media feed, you’re unlikely to do a thorough job. The best way to brush is to be in front of the mirror (over the sink), so you’re sure that you’re brushing all the surface of your teeth.
  • Skipping the dentist and relying on the Web. While there are many helpful articles online, you shouldn’t solely rely on the Internet when dealing with dental concerns. DIY dentistry or orthodontics, like using a rubber band for closing gaps between teeth, is not safe. If you’re unhappy with how your teeth look, visit the dentist to solve the problem the right way.
  • Excessive cleaning of your toothbrush. Toothbrushes may harbor bacteria, but there’s no proof that you could get sick with your own toothbrush (or germs). It’s best to use tap water when rinsing your toothbrush and let it air dry. There’s no need for drastic cleaning measures, like putting it in the microwave or dishwasher, as these may only damage the brush.
  • Not wearing your retainers. If you once wore braces, keep wearing your retainers according to your dentist’s recommendation. This may mean most nights of the week or forever. Ditching them can cause your teeth to shift back, which may require you to wear braces again. Be friends with your retainers to keep your teeth in perfect alignment for life.

The things you know and don’t know about keeping your teeth healthy can compromise your oral health. Be sure to give enough attention to your oral hygiene and see a dentist to address any of your dental concerns.