Of course, you know it is important to take good care of your teeth. But be honest here, just how often do you actually floss? Yeah, that is exactly what we thought. And your dentist knows that as well. The following are nine things that your dentist wants you to stop doing right now!
1. Lying about what your flossing habits are
We pay lots of money to attend dental school so that can assess the health of your gums, says a dentist in New York City. So whenever you tell us that you floss on a daily basis, but actually mean every day for the past three days, just know that we can tell. Oh no, guilty as charged! The dentist explains that it is better to be honest. If you don’t floss on a regular basis or don’t know how to properly, we can teach you how.
2. Use an at-home whitening kit
Dr. Matt Nejad, a dentist in Beverly Hills, declares that most DIY whitening kits are useless. He says that Crest Whitestrips is the only one he would use, but it has limitations, like having hard time whitening in between the teeth, which may result in the area still having dark stains. Also, choosing the DIY route may also do serious damage to your teeth. Dr. Steen Davidowitz (who can be found on RealSelf), says that bleaching your teeth using over-the-counter products may result in sensitive teeth, gum recession and irritation, and thinning enamel. If you want to have beautiful pearly whites, you should instead book a dental appointment.
3. Infuse your water with lime and lemon
We understand that plain old water can be boring. However, that extra twist of lime or lemon contains acid, and in terms of oral health, that’s a big no-no. Dr. Davidowitze says that acidic mouths can lead to bad breath, enamel (outer protective layer of your teeth) damage, gum disease, and tooth decay. Stick with plain water to keep your dentist and teeth happy.
4. Brush your teeth using a hard bristle toothbrush
Too much pressure combined with a hard toothbrush is bad for your teeth. It can potentially brush the enamel off and cause a recession. Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
5. Using a manual toothbrush
According to Dr. Davidowitz, an electric toothbrush makes more purposeful and consistent brushing possible. When a manual toothbrush is used, you tend to over brush certain parts while completely missing others. Also, there is a two-minute timer that is built right into an electronic toothbrush, so you can give each of your teeth the proper care that it needs.
6. Chew on hard items
These can include ice, pens, and acrylic fingernails. Don’t ever open things using your teeth.
7. Freaking out your children
A dentist based in Sarnia Ontario told us, I have seen many children doing very well while sitting in the dental chair, until they start to lose it after their parent tells them to prepare for the pain or they see their mom or dad getting nervous. He says that he feels like he needs to be the one who is in charge in that situation and sometimes parents get in the way.
8. Replacing your traditional toothpaste with an odd new fad. We are looking at you, using charcoal powder (not well-regulated and too abrasive, which can end up stripping tooth enamel) or oil pulling (has not been scientifically proven that it does anything useful for your teeth).
9. Not taking your prescription antibiotics as your dentist has directed
Typically a prescription may require you to take one tablet every 6-8 hours for a specific number of days. The thing that can really irritate your dentist is when you take your antibiotics until you start feeling better and then don’t complete the entire course. That can actually be dangerous according to one dentist, who told us that although the infection may have been suppressed, you have not completely eliminated all of the bacteria. So next time, stick with your dentist’s orders.