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There are several habits and lessons that people have ingrained in their personalities throughout their life. Some of those are in regard to their oral hygiene, most of which are done without thinking twice—it just comes automatically.

However, you might be surprised to find out that a lot of the “good” practices and beliefs you learned regarding caring for your teeth and gums are actually incorrect! Since your mouth is sensitive and can be prone to infections or dental issues, these are mistakes you definitely do not want to continue making.

Here are five of the most common oral hygiene mistakes and how to fix them:

1. Brushing, but not flossing

If there was ever a crime in the oral hygiene world, it might be this one. While brushing cleans most of your mouth, it’s simply not enough to get rid of the bits of oral debris and plaque that sits in between your teeth and gums. As such, it’s crucial to floss every single time before you brush your teeth—that way, your mouth will be guaranteed to feel much cleaner!

2. Brushing your teeth too hard

This may or may not be surprising, but it's no wonder that this is a common misconception: brushing the teeth really hard feels good, and it makes your mouth feel extra clean. Unfortunately, this can cause a lot of problems for both your teeth and gums, including enamel abrasion and gum recession.

If your toothbrush bristles are looking a little frazzled before the 3-month lifespan of your toothbrush is up, it’s a sign that you are probably using too much force to brush your delicate teeth. Using a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush can help prevent any more damage.

3. Using mouthwash as a substitute for dental floss

Gently but thoroughly brushing your teeth and following it up with mouthwash is a sure way to feel like your mouth is clean. The problem is that too many people use mouthwash as a substitute for dental floss; they expect it to clean every nook and cranny of their teeth and gums with a simple rinse. While it’s a useful add-on for your oral hygiene routine, you still need to floss before every brush.

4. Brushing too quickly

How long you brush your teeth matters because it takes the toothpaste time to properly slough off the plaque, tartar, and biofilms that cover your teeth’s surface. Brushing in a hurry may lead to negative consequences later on, such as bad breath, cavities, and gum inflammation, to name a few. Fortunately, there are advanced toothbrushes on the market that can help you time exactly how long you brush. While this is unnecessary, it’s definitely very convenient for people who love to rush through their brushing routines.

5. Seeing the dentist only when you feel pain

By the time you’re feeling pain in your teeth and gums, it’s already a late time to be visiting your dentist. It may also mean that you aren’t seeing them enough! Even if you don’t feel any kind of pain in your mouth, it’s still important to drop by a dental clinic every six months.

The mouth is prone to all sorts of issues, and visiting the dentist regularly will ensure that you don’t come back with a more severe problem that needs urgent care, such as plaque buildup and gum disease.


Only seeing the dentist when you feel an ache in your molars or substituting mouthwash for flossing are habits you may have learned as a child and just stuck with. As prevalent as these might be, there’s always something new to learn from dentists about the simple things people can do to have better oral health. By taking note of and practicing these, you’ll be sure to have a healthier mouth in no time!

Oral hygiene doesn’t just involve the routine you do at home, but it also includes seeing a professional to inspect your oral health. Here at the Dental House, we provide affordable dentistry services in Michigan, with our practice spanning both preventive and cosmetic dentistry. To view our full list of services, visit our website today!

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Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Thur 9am - 6pm, Fri & Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
West Bloomfield Dentist Office
Hours : Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Address : 6595 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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