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Tooth or Dare: Are You Making These Mistakes with your Teeth?

Oct 27, 2015

By Dean George

Good oral hygiene doesn’t require an advanced degree in dentistry or time served in an “indentured” dental residency, but it’s amazing how the little things we do on a daily basis can jeopardize our pearly whites.

Consider the simple task of brushing your teeth. You may brush twice a day for the recommended two minutes each time, but do you “crush brush?” Crush brushing is when you apply a small amount of tooth paste with an overzealous amount of elbow grease.

As previously reported in Dental Wire, brushing your teeth too hard over time can push back your gums and expose the root of your teeth. This means that one day you may be scouring your dental plan benefits to see how much it pays on a gingivectomy.

Below are five other mistakes often made with teeth:


Americans have been “juicing up” for years everywhere from airport juice bars to Trader Joe’s. Devoted juicers consume homemade and commercially bottled fruit and vegetable juices in an effort to cleanse, detox, increase energy level, clear minds and improve skin. The Los Angeles Times has reported the cold-pressed juice market alone is financially "fruitful" at an estimated $100 million a year.

The problem with drinking copious amounts of juice is that all the blends and trends are packed with vitamins and nutrients, they also contain corrosive acids and unhealthy levels of fructose and sugar that cling to teeth hours after they’re consumed. This makes juices as bad for teeth as sodas and energy drinks. If you still want your juice fix after reading this “pearly” of wisdom, minimize the damage to your tooth enamel by always rinsing with water afterwards.


Far be it from us to argue about which mouthwash is best to rinse and swish in your daily routine, but tooth be told, many of the mouth rinses used today do nothing more than control bad breath and provide a temporary pleasant taste. As previously written, what professionals recommend are therapeutic mouth rinses which contain antimicrobial agents and fluoride that actively kill germs, fight plaque, strengthen and whiten teeth, and help prevent gingivitis.

Listerine®, Crest® and Colgate®-Palmolive are commercial mouthwash manufacturers with dozens of different mouth rinse products.  For readers that prefer holistic products, Tom’s of Maine® and The Natural Dentist® are two we’ve reported on previously.


Even people who brush for the recommended two minutes tend to multitask when performing their daily routine, especially in the morning as they prepare for work.  Dr. Alison Newgard, DDS, an assistant professor of clinical dentistry at Columbia University College of Dentistry, says people do a better job covering all the surfaces of their teeth when brushing if they’re not distracted doing other things at the same time. You know, like brushing while uploading their child’s photo on Instagram, or texting their BFF with nuggets like “Can’t wait for 2NTE” or “AYTMTB.” 

“I prefer patients to be in front of a mirror, over the sink,” Dr. Newgard says. She’s right. I often listen to big band music when brushing every morning, especially songs like Glenn Miller’s “String of Pearlies” and Duke Ellington’s “Take the Apicoectomy Train.” That’s probably why when fixing bacon recently I microwaved my toothbrush and gargled my coffee.


Today social media is to dentistry what websites were a decade ago and Yellow Pages advertising way before that. All sorts of people involved in dentistry – dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, clinic receptionists, wholesaling reps, consultants, marketers and even patients are using social media to promote good oral hygiene and share their experiences.

”Just left dentist visit and got a high-five for no cavities,” tweets one patient after a recent visit.

“Love my dentist,” gushed an octogenarian with an overbite on Pinterest.

“Missed rinse basin when spitting, slipped when leaving & chipped tooth in fall,” says one Facebook entry about a recent dental experience.

The down side of social media is the free advice and rise in the number of people practicing do-it-yourself, or DIY dentistry. From those people buying over-the-counter dental kits to self-helpers using superglue to affix teeth and rubber bands as DIY braces, more people every year are irresponsibly self-treating their oral health problems. Can you say medical self-malpractice suit?

Remember the quote regarding self-representation in a legal proceeding? “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” Let’s put some additional teeth in that sentiment for those who practice dental self-treatment: People who do DIY dentistry have worse bites than barks.


Stop us if you’ve heard this before: “They may equip automobiles with warning lights but people have to rely on their common sense.” We wrote that in 2013 in a post entitled, “Best oral health offense is a prevention defense.”

For whatever reason many people put off going to the dentist until they experience pain in the ol’ pie hole.  Routine dental visits are important because most dental problems are painless in the beginning.

When pain begins that usually means two things: 1) Whatever the problem is it almost certainly could have been prevented if you’d undergone a six-month checkup, and 2) The treatment you’ll require to alleviate the pain will be more expensive than it would have been if it was treated sooner.

Think of it this way: you don’t check to see when the cable or satellite bill is due until they pull the plug, do you? And you don’t postpone getting your oil changed in your car until the oil light comes on, right? Your chompers deserve the same respect as your car and TV viewing so don’t ignore your common sensory lights by delaying a dental tune-up every six months.

Coincidentally we have plans that can help with that! To see plans available in your area, click here. Thanks for reading, and for more oral health tune-up tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn!


Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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