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teeth
Photo: Lesly B. Juarez/Unsplash

This post originally appeared on The Zoe Report

Keeping fit and taking care of your skin are no-brainers, but we often forget that maintaining the health of your teeth and gums is just as important to your overall well-being and can add years to your life. Whether you’re guilty of brushing too aggressively or eating foods that may damage your pearly whites, we’re here to help with tips on how to get your best smile ever. Ahead, the bad habits you didn’t know can damage your teeth.

1. Using non-fluoride toothpaste

While you may believe natural toothpastes do the job, non-fluoride options are actually not as beneficial. Fluoride reduces cavities and helps repair tooth decay by replacing minerals worn down by plaque. It’s vital to maintaining the teeth’s overall strength.

2. Brushing too hard

News flash: Using hard bristles and brushing aggressively from side to side does not result in a thorough cleanse. It only scratches the enamel and your delicate gums. Dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush in small circular motions at least two minutes twice a day. Don’t forget to brush gently along the gumline and the back of the teeth.

3. Not brushing your tongue

Your tongue accumulates a deluge of bacteria on its surface as you eat and drink throughout the day. Thus, it’s a major culprit of bad breath and disseminating germs to your teeth. Gently remove the gunk with a scraper after brushing your teeth, and complete with a mouth rinse.

4. Not flossing daily

One of the most important oral hygiene steps people miss is flossing teeth. Just as your dentist insists during your checkups, flossing is crucial to removing plaque and germs between the teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. It also prevents gum disease, tooth decay and cavities.

5. Whitening too often

Using peroxide strips and bleaching trays that contain excessive amounts can irritate the teeth and increase sensitivity. They can also diminish its natural sheen and leave chalky blotches that are overtly white.

Read the rest of the ways you could be harming your teeth on The Zoe Report.

By Amy Lee for The Zoe Report
This post originally appeared on The Zoe Report