2 Oral-Health Habits You Think Are Good For Your Teeth That Are Actually Very Bad

If you are someone who thinks you take care of your teeth perfectly, but you still experience dental problems, then you may want to look into your dental habits more thoroughly to make sure they are actually helping your teeth instead of harming them. Take a look at the following common oral-hygiene mistakes and adjust your routine if one or more are habits you have.

1. Flossing More Than Once a Day

If you think that flossing once a day is advised only because many people are too lazy to floss more often, then you may floss twice or even three times each day in your quest to have perfect teeth. The truth is that you really do only need to, and should only, floss once every 24 hours. Flossing more than this simply causes gum irritation and is considered unnecessary.

Why? What you remove when you floss are called "bacterial colonies." These colonies take 24 hours to form and become attached to your gum line. If you floss more often than that, the colonies have not formed, and you are likely not removing anything.

Also, thorough flossing doesn't mean hard or rough flossing. You should ease the floss between your teeth, wiggle it gently at the gum-line, and ease it back down. Flossing too harshly can cause gum tears that are prone to infection. Remember to floss every single tooth and take it easy if you see blood, as this can create a pathway for oral bacteria to spread to other parts of your body and create infection.

2. Using Alcohol-based Mouth Rinse Several Times Per Day

Mouth rinses can be useful tools for keeping your mouth healthy, but unless suggested by your dentist for a specific oral-health problem you have, such as gum disease, alcohol-filled mouth rinse should not be over-used. If you take a swish after each time you brush and a swish to freshen your breath a couple of times a day, all those swishes can really add up and cause your mouth to become very dry. A dry mouth is more prone to cavities than one coated with cavity-fighting saliva.

Even more detrimental to your health, some studies have come to the conclusion that using too much mouthwash that contains alcohol can increase your oral cancer risk. Confusingly, some studies have found that it doesn't contribute to oral cancer unless a person has otherwise bad oral hygiene habits. While more studies are needed, over-using mouth rinses with alcohol currently has no benefit to your oral health, so why risk it? Limit its use to once per day or swap your rinse out for one that is alcohol-free and instead gives your teeth a healthy coat of fluoride.

If you have been flossing your teeth too much and rinsing with the wrong mouthwash too often, then you may now know why your teeth are getting worse instead of improving. Remember that regular dental visits and brushing your teeth three times per day are two steps that should never be skipped.  

For more information, contact Dr. Sudharani V Chary or a similar dental professional.