Oral Hygiene – Four Habits To Break

Oral_HygieneThere are two parts to establishing an effective oral hygiene routine – developing positive habits, such as brushing and flossing, and extinguishing bad habits, which can slow or even halt progress made with the positive actions. Here’s a guide to cutting out four of the worst oral hygiene habits quickly and permanently.

Your Oral Hygiene NOT To-Do List

  1. Don’t use teeth as tools. This is a bad habit that has probably existed as long as humans have had teeth! But, as tempting as it is to use our teeth to tear open bags, rip adhesive tape, etc., they were only made to withstand vertical forces. Any sort of lateral pressure on teeth puts them at risk of chipping, cracking or fracturing. The fix for this bad habit is simple: take the time to get up and locate the proper tool for your task, and leave your teeth out of it!
  2. Don’t leave the dentist office without scheduling your next appointment. Dental checkups serve two purposes – they allow your dentist to examine the health of your teeth, gums and mouth, and they give his or her staff the opportunity to do a deep cleaning of your teeth surfaces, which prevents problems with tooth decay and gum disease down the road. Your dentist will help you establish the frequency of visits that is right for your oral health.
  3. Don’t forget to floss. Many American adults struggle with remembering to perform this vital oral hygiene task on a daily basis. Yet, when you consider that forgetting to do so could cost you as much as $1,500 for a root canal (one of the worst-case scenarios for poor oral hygiene), that can be a powerful incentive to remember. Another trick to reverse this bad habit is to keep floss with you at all times.
  4. Don’t get dehydrated. In addition to being bad for your body as a whole, not drinking enough water to stay hydrated (particularly in Phoenix’s low desert heat) can lead to dry mouth, which will put you at risk for periodontal disease, tooth decay and other dental diseases. Aim to drink an ounce of water for each pound you weigh each day, and consult with your dentist and physician if you take medications or have other health situations that could be causing your dry mouth.

“It’s rarely easy to stop a bad habit, but your oral hygiene depends on making a fresh start and getting these four actions under control,” said Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix.


  1. #1 is definitely a tip I need to remember, I use my teeth too often to open packages and such. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

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