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Bad Dental Habits to Break in 2020

Let’s face it, we all have a few bad habits. A new year is the perfect opportunity to commit to doing better. Here are a few bad habits to break in 2020!

Skipping Your Cleanings

                Listen, it happens to the best of us. We have to cancel a cleaning because we caught that flu that’s going around, and a few weeks or months go by and we realize we never rescheduled. Well now it just feels awkward. You’re already overdue, anyway. Just wait until that next six months rolls around, right?

Make this the year that you stay on track and get your cleanings! Even if you must reschedule and you’re a little overdue, it’s okay! We won’t judge, we swear. Try to get something on the schedule right away while you’re cancelling so it doesn’t slip your mind.

Forgetting to Change Your Toothbrush

I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this one. It is incredibly important to change your toothbrush regularly. Every 3-4 months to be exact. I would say change your toothbrush every time you get an oil change, but… Who am I kidding, nobody gets their oil changed every 3 months anymore, right? Toothbrushes lose their ability to do their job as they get older. Once your bristles start to fray, your toothbrush has passed its prime. Most brushes now have blue bristles that start to fade as they get too old. Time to ditch it and get a new one.

Even better, most electronic toothbrushes like Sonicare now have a Bluetooth app that connects to your phone and reminds you to change your brush head. Or, if you’re old school, set your own reminder alarm every 3 months, or put a sticker on your wall calendar.

Brushing Too Hard

Speaking of frayed bristles, your bristles should never fray. If your toothbrush ends up looking like someone took an eyelash curler to it, you are putting way too much pressure on your teeth. Over time, this can damage and abrade your gums, and even start wearing away some of your enamel. On top of which, it actually removes less plaque if you push too hard while you’re brushing. Take it easy! Use just the tips of your fingers or try brushing with your non-dominant hand. The Sonicare app will also alert you to those fits of Hulk-like strength.

You Knew I Would Say Something About Floss, Right?

Yeah, we all knew it was coming. The number one bad habit we can all work on when it comes to our teeth is skipping the floss. Sure, I’ve expounded on the benefits of flossing before, but even if we know all the ways it helps prevent cavities and reduce bad breath and gum disease, it still feels like a monumental task. Many of my patients have had great success building a solid flossing habit by trying a few things:

  1. Floss in the shower. Who doesn’t want a little extra time in their own personal sauna? And if the kids need you, too bad, you’re flossing in here!
  2. Floss before brushing. If you’re anything like me, brushing first means flossing just won’t happen. After all, everything feels minty and fresh. Good enough, right? Switch things up! Flossing first means it will actually get done, and it removes debris from between your teeth to let your toothpaste get in there and do its job.
  3. Floss just three teeth. Sometimes, it really does feel like too much. There have been nights when I definitely cannot bring myself to floss. I mean, all 32 of these things? You crazy? Sometimes I tell myself to just get three of them. By the time that’s done I usually realize it’s only taking a few seconds, may as well finish the job.
  4. Try a WaterPik instead!

We’re just a few weeks into the new year, and it is definitely not too late to commit to some great new habits. Hopefully, this list will give you a little kick-start with some great habits that will benefit your teeth, your breath, and your whole-body health! Keep smiling and Happy New Year, Orlando!

If your toothbrush looks like the one on the left, chuck it out! …And stop brushing too hard.

Lake Baldwin Dental

950 Lake Baldwin Lane
Orlando, FL 32814



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