5 Bad Oral Care Habits You Need to Break (and how to do it)

August 10 2020

Can bad oral hygiene cause health problems? Yes! Your mouth is the gateway to your body. What you put in it - not just food and drinks but your toothbrush, floss and any teeth whitening ingredients - affects your overall health. Left unchecked, bacteria in your mouth can develop into infections like tooth decay and gum disease. And those problems don't stay put! Just as eating an unbalanced diet leads to weight gain, bad oral hygiene can lead to health problems like:

  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

We're not saying you'll have a heart attack or get pneumonia if you skip brushing every so often. But scientists have found that developing solid oral hygiene habits can help you maintain a healthier, stronger body.

So, what are good oral hygiene habits? Certainly, brushing twice a day is one, but most of us already know that. The experts at GLO Science identified some common bad oral hygiene habits to help illustrate how easy it is to do better.

5 Bad Oral Care Habits & How to Break Them

  1. Bad: Brushing too hard. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a great habit. But if you're too aggressive, this healthy habit can actually become detrimental. Brushing too hard can wear away at both tooth enamel and gum tissue.

    Better: Choose a soft-bristle toothbrush that carries the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Focus on massaging teeth and gums, not scrubbing. Gentle, circular motions for about two minutes help remove food debris and stimulate healthy blood flow in your gums.

  2. Bad: Forgetting to floss. Flossing removes food bits that get stuck between your teeth when you eat. When those bits are left in place, they generate bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Besides, food stuck in your teeth is not a good look on anyone!

    Better: Place your floss right next to your toothbrush or on top of your pillow as a reminder to floss at least once a day, preferably right before going to bed. If regular floss hurts because your teeth fit tightly together, try a dental tape. These products are thicker and won't snap down onto your gums as sharply as floss.

  3. Bad: Eating and drinking all day long. Grazing, especially on sugary snacks and drinks, can be an unhealthy habit for several reasons. What happens if you eat too many sweets? First off, you'll likely gain weight from constant snacking because it's more difficult to monitor and control your caloric intake that way. Also, allowing sugary foods and drinks to sit on your teeth fosters bacteria growth, which causes tooth decay and gum disease.

    Better: Go for balanced meals that help you feel satisfied and include dessert, so you don't feel deprived. If you indulge in an occasional sweet snack, brush your teeth right after. Consider boosting your toothpaste with an antimicrobial gel that helps reduce germs in your mouth.

  4. Bad: Chewing ice cubes. This might seem innocuous - after all, ice cubes are just water, right? Actually, they're ice crystals. Your tooth enamel is also a kind of crystal. And when you push two crystals together with enough force, one of them is going to break. Often, it's the ice, but it could be your tooth or a filling that gives way first. Besides, ice chewing can increase tooth sensitivity.

    Better: Chill beverages so you don't need ice in them or use a straw to avoid the temptation to chew.

  5. Bad: Using your teeth as a tool. We've all done it. In a hurry to try on a new shirt or open a package, we imagine our incisors are really scissors and simply chomp down. It seems easier than rummaging through a drawer for scissors, but it can be disastrous. Dentists see chipped teeth and damaged enamel every day in patients who were impatient. Removing tags, trimming nails and opening chip bags are not what your teeth were designed for!

    Better: Think about the unseen bacteria on those tags, bags and cuticles - gross! Then slow down and take a minute to find scissors or nail clippers. Save your teeth for eating and smiling in Insta pics!

How Does Teeth Whitening Work to Improve Your Oral Care?

While we're on the subject of good oral hygiene, let's look at how teeth whitening and teeth whitener ingredients can support your efforts to take better care of your oral health.

First, check your ingredients! Not all teeth whiteners are the same. The best products include safe home teeth whitening ingredients that also promote a healthy mouth. Hydrogen peroxide is the star player that not only lifts away unsightly stains but also kills germs to help prevent infection. Its second-best quality is that hydrogen peroxide breaks down into simple water and oxygen when it comes into contact with your saliva. Carbamide peroxide, on the other hand, turns into urea and ammonia in your mouth - yuck!

Second, when your goal is teeth whitening, best results are achieved with a holistic approach. That means paying attention to good habits like flossing and drinking water after sugary snacks so that you don't undermine your progress.

The best teeth whitening products not only contain safe and effective teeth whitener ingredients used in whitening systems invented by a practicing dentist, but also fit your lifestyle and support your pursuit of desired whitening results.

GLO Brilliant delivers hands-free treatment that combines gentle warming heat with blue light whitening in just eight-minute treatment sessions that fit into your daily routine. And our minty fresh gel is thick enough to stay on your teeth and not drip onto your gums, which can cause sensitivity. It's packaged in our patented GLO Vials that keep the hydrogen peroxide fresh for multiple uses, so you can whiten on the go, even after snacks.

GLO Lit takes these teeth whitening ingredients and technology to the next level with Bluetooth connectivity to the GLO Whitening App, less recharging time and two ways to go hands-free.