Two bad habits that could destroy your teeth and gums

Posted on: 3 March 2017


There are certain habits which could have an extremely negative impact on your dental health. Here are two examples of such habits.

Brushing too vigorously

Many people mistakenly believe that in order to clean their teeth and gums properly, they must scrub them as hard as they can. In reality, this approach often does more harm than good, particularly if the person is using a firm-bristled toothbrush.

Excessively hard brushing can cause two serious issues: namely, gum recession and tooth enamel wear. The former will not only lead to cosmetic issues (receding gums can make teeth look longer and result in the exposure of the darker root area of the tooth) but could also put a person at risk of increased tooth sensitivity, gum disease and eventually, tooth loss.

Enamel erosion can be just as harmful to the appearance and health of a person's teeth. When this outer layer is worn away, the yellow-hued dentin underneath is left exposed; this can make the affected teeth looked stained and unsightly. Additionally, erosion of tooth enamel can increase the chances of tooth decay and cavities.

As such, it really is crucial to take a gentle approach to teeth-brushing. If you have a tendency to brush too hard, make a conscious effort to apply less pressure to the teeth during this part of your oral hygiene routine. If you currently use a firm-bristled brush, it may also be worth replacing it with one with softer, more flexible bristles.

Only visiting the dentist when there's an obvious dental problem

A lot of people dislike going to the dentist, largely because they associate it with painful injections and other uncomfortable dental procedures. As a result, they make the mistake of only going when absolutely necessary; for example, when they chip a tooth or develop a painful cavity.

This is an error which could end up causing a lot of oral health problems. Having a standing appointment with your dentist, which you always attend even if you're not showing any obvious signs of dental issues, could end up saving you a great deal of time, money and stress in the future.

Regular check-ups can help to catch oral health problems at an early stage, before they progress to the point where they cause serious problems, like tooth loss, abscesses and cancer.

For example, a routine check-up at your dentist could enable them to spot the early signs of gum disease and provide you with a simple, inexpensive treatment plan that will halt the progress of this condition. However, if you skip this appointment and allow the disease to reach an advanced stage, you may end up having to endure the pain and expense of far more complex dental procedures, such as gum grafts and dental implants.