When compared to general health, the average knowledge people have of oral health is surprisingly low. While some ‘dental don’ts’ may be obvious, others may surprise you and there are a number of general rules and sets of advice that it would be wise to take note of.
1. Don’t ‘overdo’ dental whitening
While it may seem obvious, many people complain of pain or over-sensitivity in their teeth due to the overuse of dental whitening. A dentist will advise against frequent teeth whitening visits, but due to the easy availability of home whitening kits many people may still be able to overuse such treatments, leading to problems with pain and sensitivity.
2. Don’t neglect your dentist
Primarily your dentist is there to check your oral health and do what he or she can if they find something amiss. However, they can’t help you in this way if you don’t go for check-ups! Even if you don’t believe you have any dental problems it is highly recommended that you visit your dentist for a check up at least once every six months.
3. Stay away from tobacco
When people think of the damage caused by tobacco, their thoughts may immediately spring to lung and throat cancer. However, tobacco –both smoking and chewing- can not only lead to lung cancer, but also gum disease and oral cancer, which can be fatal if left untreated.
4. Don’t forget the tongue!
The tongue is often forgotten when brushing our teeth, however it is essential to our oral health. The surface of the tongue is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, making it potentially dangerous to your overall health. Plaque and bacteria that has been removed from the teeth and gums by brushing can be easily replaced by any that remain on the tongue. Brushing to the back of the tongue can make many people gag, however there are specific devices on the market primarily for the purpose of cleaning tongues that eliminate this problem.
5. Don’t rush when you brush
When brushing (especially for children) it can be tempting to rush. Whether this is because you’re eager for bed after a long day or are running late in the morning, it can be tempting to give your teeth only a quick once over before finishing. Don’t! You may have an extremely busy schedule for the day, but everyone should be able to spare an extra two minutes in the mornings and evenings to make sure you have a healthy mouth. However, brushing too vigorously can also be damaging, so a balance between not brushing enough and brushing too much does need to be established.