General Dentistry: 3 Daily Habits for Oral Health

Posted by Gregg L Lage DDS Nov 10, 2021

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To avoid the health concerns commonly treated by general dentistry providers, it is important to lay a solid foundation for oral hygiene. There are three key habits to keep up that reduce the potential for tooth decay, gum disease, and discoloration. According to Healthline, it can take between 18 to 254 days to develop a habit, with the average being around 66 days of repeated behavior before the activity becomes automatic. Make these activities part of a daily oral hygiene routine.

3 key oral hygiene habits

There are many things a general dentistry provider can recommend for optimum oral health, but some activities should receive priority over others. These three habits directly impact the health of the teeth and gums, which can ultimately make a difference with a person’s overall health.

1. Brushing and flossing

Spending time each day brushing and flossing is the foundation for strong teeth and healthy gums. Choose a toothbrush that uses soft bristles, as harder bristles have a tendency to pull the gum tissue away from the teeth. This can lead to increase exposure to bacteria and infection at the roots. The toothbrush head should be a size that makes it easy to reach all the surface area on the teeth. Half-inch to 1-inch is usually suitable for adults. When selecting floss, select a thin product for teeth that are tightly spaced and a thicker option for teeth with wider gaps.

Optimum brushing habits should include two brushing cycles per day for a minimum of two minutes each time. Cover all surfaces of the teeth, and do not forget the inside surfaces. Use small circles and move from the gumline upward. Spend a moment brushing the tongue, as germs and food particles can build up and cause bad breath, among other concerns.

2. Avoiding bad habits

Many people tend to frequently use their teeth in ways that damage the teeth. Nailbiting is a habit that not only impacts the teeth on a structural level but also potentially introduces a greater amount of harmful bacteria living under the cuticles into the mouth. Using the teeth to tear open bags, chomping through tough foods, and crunching ice cubes can also cause the enamel of the teeth to wear off faster. The damage may not be seen immediately, but through routinely scheduled general dentistry appointments, any changes in the teeth can be evaluated and monitored.

3. Eating healthily

The things that go into the body have as much of an impact on oral health as on total body wellness. Sweet foods and sugary drinks, as well as foods high in simple starches, encourage higher amounts of bacteria to form. Such bacteria can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Choose water and milk over beverages like sweetened tea, juices, and soft drinks. Adequate servings of foods high in vitamins and minerals are important for developing stronger teeth and a better immune response to disease threats.


Good oral health depends on the consistent use of good dental hygiene practices. To find out more about individual oral health needs, consult an area provider.

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