News & blogs Blogs and vlogs 7 of the most common dental health pitfalls to avoid 2 Feb 2016 Keeping our oral hygiene high is something few of us actually manage to achieve on a permanent basis. We are all entitled the occasional lapse in our routines but here are the 7 most common dental pitfalls that you absolutely must try to avoid whenever and however possible. These 7 tips will help you maintain your oral hygiene: 1. Twice a day brushing Whilst the most obvious of our tips this is undoubtedly the most important. Nearly a quarter of adults in the UK don't brush their teeth twice daily. However, regular brushing stops the bacterial build-up of plaque. Studies have shown that even missing one brushing session can start the process of forming cavities. Make sure you brush twice a day for two minutes to keep your teeth plaque free. 2. Incorrect brushing technique Brushing technique is just as important as brushing. One of the most common mistakes we make is missing areas of the mouth. When brushing you need to ensure that every tooth is cleaned and that we clean the total surface area of the tooth. When you're in a hurry it can be easy to just skim over areas but this often leaves plaque on the teeth and along the gum line - leading to cavities and gingivitis. In addition also be careful not to brush your teeth too hard as you can damage your gums. 3. Not using the right toothbrush You need to make sure you are using the right tools for the job. Toothbrushes come with different thickness and strength bristles. Small headed brushes are widely regarded as the best as they allow you to reach everywhere in your mouth more easily. In terms of bristles softer tend to be better - ideally with rounded heads to prevent aggravation of the gums. 4. Not replacing your toothbrush enough We've all used a toothbrush past its best. Once the bristles start to lose their strength and you have a spread it is already past time to replace your brush. Our best tip is to buy multiple brushes and always have one spare in the bathroom cabinet. Using a brush past its sell by date makes it more likely that you will miss areas of your mouth whilst brushing and that plaque will not be removed efficiently. 5. Not Using Floss No matter how good your brushing is you cannot reach every area between your teeth. Regular flossing helps remove plaque and food that builds up between your teeth. The build-up of plaque along the gum line is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Daily flossing helps remove plaque and prevent gum disease. 6. Too much sugar Our diets are the leading cause of tooth decay. The big enemy here is fizzy drinks - as many of us now drink these all day. Drink sugary or fizzy drinks irregularly to avoid cavities. Your health and your mouth will thank you. 7. Not visiting the dentist Even if your oral hygiene is superb you still should visit the dentist twice a year. Visiting the dentist regularly ensures that any problems that do arise can be quickly dealt with. Your dentist can also make sure you are using correct brushing techniques and advise you on the best options for oral care. If you need to find a local dentist use dental review sites like WhatClinic to find the best local options.