Do You Have These 5 Bad Dental Habits?
Dental Care Problem 4: Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush
Some people think the firmer the toothbrush, the better. This isn’t so, especially for older adults. With age, the gums push back and the roots of the teeth become exposed, often increasing sensitivity. The root is covered with cementum, which is worn away more easily than enamel. A brush with too-firm bristles may irritate the gums and lead to sensitive teeth.
Ask your dentist or hygienist what toothbrush might be best to maintain your dental health, depending on your individual gum and tooth problems.
Dental Care Problem 5: Not Brushing or Flossing Properly
Some people floss and brush their teeth regularly, but not often enough. You should aim to brush twice a day, and be sure to replace your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three or four months.
Flossing teeth should be done daily, too. If you aren't sure if you floss properly -- and dentists say many people aren’t -- ask your dentist or your hygienist for a demonstration on your next visit. The American Dental Association also says antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that can cause gum disease.
You may find a powered toothbrush better, especially if you have hand, arm, or shoulder problems that make manual brushing difficult. If you have children, be sure to buy them child-sized brushes so they fit their hands and mouth, and are easier to use.