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Do This, Don't Do That

 

Everyone wants a healthy, beautiful smile, but sometimes what we do to our teeth and gums can work against us - even when we’re acting with the best of intentions. If you are currently doing any of these oral health behaviors, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy.

Chewing Sugared Gum

You may have heard that chewing gum is good for the teeth, and it is - as long as it’s sugarless gum. Gum with sugar in it has the opposite effect on teeth - instead of neutralizing plaque-causing bacteria, it coats your teeth with sugar, the very substance those mean little bacterium thrive on.

Brushing Gums Too Hard

Is there really a such thing as brushing too hard? Yes, especially when it comes to your gums. Gum tissue is delicate, and when brushed too roughly, it can begin to recede, which opens your gums up to bacteria that could cause gingivitis or periodontitis. If you can’t brush gums gently, rinse with mouthwash instead.

Skipping Dental Exams

Dental exams aren’t just for cleanings. They are also oral health screenings that could catch a host of oral health problems, from thrush to periodontitis to temporomandibular joint disorder and even oral cancer. Dr. Simpson recommends getting an oral exam every six months, or going as frequently as your oral health insurance coverage allows.

Sharing Cups or Brushes

This one is an easy trap to fall into. Do you share a sink with someone? Do you share a cup at that sink? Bad idea. Sharing toothbrushes, cups and even spoons can transmit bacteria from person to person, leaving you open to illness and, yes, even gum disease.

Not Flossing

Flossing clears away about 40 percent of the plaque and food that lands on our teeth, so when you don’t floss you’re only getting your mouth partially clean. You should floss at least once a day, preferably when you brush your teeth at night. This helps not only keep your teeth clean, but also keeps dangerous bacteria away from your gums and helps reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

For more oral health tips or to schedule that exam you suddenly realized you need to book, please give Dr. Simpson’s office a call at 910-239-7155.

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