Biggest dental hygiene mistakes

We’re going to venture a guess here and say that dental hygiene is no one’s favorite pastime.

There’s something about brushing and flossing that pales in comparison to literally everything else, and we know that. Why do you think dentists are so necessary?

The good news is that most of us work past that distaste and get the teeth cleaning into our schedules, but how good of a job are we really doing?

News flash: 15 seconds is not long enough to get those puppies clean.

Get this – not only could you be doing a lackluster job, you might actually have some habits that are actively BAD for your teeth. That’s right. You could be putting in the time and effort to do some little thing the internet or your best friend told you was dental magic, and you’re actually making a huge mistake.

So what are the most common dental hygiene mistakes you might be making?

Check it out.


  • You listen to the internet


We know – it’s a great place. It opens up doors to information and opportunities those before us couldn’t even fathom, but some things are better left un-fathomed. For example, DIY braces crafted from store-bought rubber bands, or the newest teeth whitening method that calls for swishing straight peroxide around your mouth until your teeth are glistening! Or just eroded down to nubs.

The problem is that while some advice online is great and harmless, there are too many Pinterest dentists whose methods might leave you in worse shape than you started. Our advice is to only use materials that are ADA approved, or just come ask us what we think.


  • You brush right after you eat


Logic might tell you to brush right after you eat to remove the remnants of whatever food you just ate.

In that case, logic would be wrong.

Turns out that when you eat, the acids and sugars from the food you just chewed actually break down and weaken the enamel on your teeth. If you get right in there and brush your teeth with fervor, then you might be doing more damage than good. Those furious back and forths are removing the already weakened enamel, and this habit could cause premature deterioration.

In most cases, wait 30 minutes before brushing. If you’ve just eaten something high in sugar or acid, swish some water around your mouth to rinse away any significant residue.


  • You’re brushing too hard


You might feel like your teeth will thank you, but they really won’t. Brushing too hard or using a brush with hard bristles leads to the erosion of your enamel. According to a 2011 study published by the Journal of Periodontology, hard-bristled toothbrushes are great at removing plaque, but they’re also more likely than soft brushes to cause gingivitis and damage tissue.


  • You’re not brushing enough


Twice a day, 2 min each. You might be SHOCKED at how long that feels, but we promise it’s worth it.


  • You’re a boring brusher


Don’t take this personally, it’s not judgement, but you might just be a boring brusher. If you start in the same place every day, then your natural “brushing path” might leave some areas well taken care of while others are neglected.

You also might only be brushing your teeth which is no good. The tongue collects a great deal of bacteria, so give it a good brush for better breath and a cleaner mouth.

If you’re feeling like striking a good balance might be hard, you’re right – but it’s not impossible! Establishing fantastic dental hygiene is all about getting in good habits, and we think you’re on your way there.

Coming to see Dr. Chauvin in Lafayette can’t hurt, either! Make an appointment today.