Even if you’re careful about your oral health, you may be making some mistakes. There’s more to dental hygiene than simply brushing and flossing daily, and many people have habits that harm their teeth. Here are six of the most common dental hygiene mistakes:

1. Brushing Too Hard

Gentle pressure is all you need to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Aggressive brushing is one of the most common dental hygiene mistakes, and it can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums. Brushing too hard can also make your teeth more vulnerable to stains because it exposes the layer of dentin underneath the enamel.

2. Using the Wrong Brush

Hard-bristled brushes can be too harsh on your gums and can cause them to recede over time. You should stick with soft-bristled brushes to remove plaque without damaging your teeth and gums. You should also replace your toothbrush every three months.

3. Neglecting Your Tongue

Cleaning your tongue is just as important as cleaning your teeth. Neglecting your tongue can cause bacteria to build up, which will lead to bad breath. Brush your tongue whenever you brush your teeth, and use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria. This should prevent bad breath and help your mouth feel cleaner and fresher.

4. Flossing Improperly

You should floss every day with the right technique. Instead of simply snapping the floss between each tooth, you should run the floss along the teeth in a zigzag motion. This will help remove all of the plaque that has built up between the teeth.

5. Brushing Right After Eating

Brushing right after a meal can actually harm your teeth, especially if you ate something acidic. After you eat, the acid in your food weakens your tooth enamel. Your saliva will gradually wash away the food particles and let the enamel return to its strong and protective state. If you brush while the enamel is still weakened, you can damage your teeth. Therefore, you should wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush.

6. Brushing Too Early in the Evening

Your saliva washes away bacteria and protects your teeth, but your mouth produces less saliva at night. It’s important to brush your teeth right before you go to bed, so your teeth are as clean as possible before sleeping. If you wait too long after brushing to go to bed, harmful bacteria may build up in your mouth and damage your teeth while you sleep.

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