4 Common Oral Health Mistakes and How to Deal With

*Collaborative post

Good oral health is pivotal to overall well-being, yet many of us unknowingly undermine our dental health with common mistakes. Recognising and rectifying these errors can lead to a healthier mouth and potentially avoid trips to the emergency dentist Cardiff

This article explores four frequent oral hygiene slip-ups, advised against by reputable sources such as the NHS and Healthline, and provides practical advice on how to correct them.

1. Ignoring the Importance of Flossing

Why is flossing essential? Many individuals mistakenly view flossing as a secondary aspect of oral hygiene. However, dentists assert that it’s as crucial as brushing because it removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line—areas your brush simply cannot reach. 

This process helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, which, if left unchecked, could necessitate a visit to the emergency dentist in Cardiff.

How to Floss Properly:

  • Choose the Right Type: Opt for waxed floss if your teeth are closely spaced, as it’s less likely to shred.
  • Use Enough Floss: Break off about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of it around one of your middle fingers, and the rest around the same finger of the opposite hand. This strategy allows you to use a fresh segment of floss for each tooth.
  • Be Careful: Gently move the floss between your teeth, up and down. Curve it around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gum line. 

Common Missteps to Avoid:

  • Skipping the back teeth because they’re harder to reach.
  • Reusing the same section of floss for multiple teeth may re-deposit bacteria.

Flossing Tips:

  • If you find flossing with traditional string difficult, consider using a floss holder, pre-threaded flossers, or an interdental cleaner recommended by dental professionals.

The NHS recommends flossing at least once a day to maintain optimal oral hygiene (Read more from NHS).

2. Overusing Whitening Products

Can you overdo teeth whitening? Indeed, the pursuit of a sparkling smile can lead some to use whitening strips, toothpaste, and gels excessively. This overuse can strip the enamel from your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and making your teeth more susceptible to decay.

What Professionals Say: Dental experts from associations like the British Dental Association suggest that moderation is key in the use of whitening products. Over-the-counter products can offer benefits, but they must be used correctly to avoid damaging the enamel.

Considerations Before Whitening Your Teeth:

  • Consultation: Always consult with a dentist specialising in cosmetic dentistry Cardiff before beginning any whitening regimen. They can recommend the best products and procedures, tailor-made for your dental condition.
  • Sensitivity: If you experience tooth sensitivity, consider using products designed for sensitive teeth or lower the frequency of your whitening treatments.

Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Whitening:

  • Professional in-office whitening treatments, which are safer and more effective.
  • Whitening toothpaste with lower concentrations of bleaching agents for daily maintenance instead of intense treatments.

According to the British Dental Association, moderation is key, and it’s advisable to consult with a professional in cosmetic dentistry in Cardiff before starting any whitening treatment. 

3. Brushing Too Hard 

Discover why brushing your teeth too hard can damage your smile and learn the correct technique to keep your gums healthy. Watch the video for expert brushing tips!

Is hard brushing really harmful? Many people are under the misconception that the harder they brush, the cleaner their teeth will be. This is a dangerous fallacy. Vigorous brushing can actually cause more harm than good by wearing away at the delicate enamel on the teeth and causing the gums to recede.

What is the Recommended Brushing Technique?

  • Choose the Right Toothbrush: Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which is tough on plaque but gentle on your gums and enamel.
  • Brush Gently: Apply gentle pressure and use circular or vertical strokes. Brushing side-to-side can wear down the enamel at the gum line.
  • Timing: Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day. Spending sufficient time ensures effective cleaning without the need to use excessive force.

Signs of Over-Brushing:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, indicating enamel wear.
  • Bleeding gums, which may be a sign of gum damage due to hard brushing.

Advice from Dental Professionals: Regular dental check-ups can help ensure that your brushing habits are effective. Dentists can provide personalised advice and demonstrate the correct brushing technique, ensuring that your oral hygiene routine supports rather than damages your dental health.

4. Neglecting Professional Dental Check-Ups

Why are regular dental check-ups crucial? Many people delay or skip dental visits until they experience discomfort or visible problems. However, regular dental check-ups are vital for preventing diseases before they become severe. A dentist can spot early signs of issues that you may not notice, such as cavities, gum disease, and even non-dental conditions like vitamin deficiencies or oral cancer.

What Happens During a Dental Check-up?

  • Examination: Your dentist will check for cavities, gum health, and any other signs of oral disease.
  • Cleaning: A professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that can’t be cleaned away with a toothbrush at home.
  • Preventive Advice: Dentists provide tailored advice based on the condition of your teeth and gums.

Benefits of Regular Check-Ups:

  • Early detection and treatment of problems, can save time, money, and discomfort in the long run.
  • Professional cleaning that helps prevent the occurrence of gum disease and cavities.

Encouragement for Regular Visits: Understanding the value of preventive care in dentistry can encourage more frequent dental appointments. Regular check-ups ensure that your oral health is maintained and can prevent the development of conditions that might require emergency intervention.

WebMD highlights that dentists can spot signs of nutritional deficiencies, infection, or general health issues during a routine examination (Read more from WebMD).


Avoiding these common mistakes can greatly improve your oral health and reduce the likelihood of needing invasive procedures. Regular care, appropriate use of products, and professional advice are paramount. Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene is a crucial component of overall health, and keeping these points in mind can help ensure your smile stays bright and healthy for years to come.

Author Bio: Harry Ambrose

Harry Ambrose is one of the leading practicing dentists at Super Smile Dental, Cardiff. He has treated a multitude of patients with diverse oral ailments throughout his career. With a view to promoting oral & dental health among the masses, he utilises blog posts to share his knowledge and provide guidance.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.