Three Everyday Habits That Unnecessarily Expose Your Mouth to Bacteria

4 December 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

The average person's mouth is full of bacteria, but brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are all effective ways to keep the bacteria count to a reasonable level. What you might not realize is that you may engage in daily activities that actually introduce more bacteria to your mouth. Such activities aren't necessarily a concern when you perform them rarely, but when they reach the point at which they're habitual, you're not doing any favors for your oral hygiene. The more bacteria that you have in your mouth, the higher the risk of gum disease. Here are some everyday habits that you'll want to curb.

Reusing Glassware

People frequently wash out their drinking glasses after drinking milk or juice, but they may not be as vigilant when they only use a certain glass for water. For example, on your desk at work, you might have a large glass or cup that you fill up with water and empty several times throughout the day, and then let the glass sit empty instead of washing it out. There will be a significant amount of bacteria around the rim of the glass and inside of it, and each time that you take a sip, this bacteria is getting into your mouth.

Reusing Toothpicks

Some people are in the habit of not only picking their teeth with a toothpick but of reusing the same toothpick. For example, you might place it behind your ear or even in the console of your car, and reach for it repeatedly. While there can be some value in cleaning between your teeth with a toothpick, you want to use a fresh one each time. A toothpick's wood absorbs bacteria, and reusing this implement will put these germs back into your mouth.

Failing to Wash a Mouthpiece

People wear mouthpieces for a variety of reasons. If you play a contact sport, even recreationally, you likely wear a protective mouthpiece. If you have problems with snoring, you might also rely on a corrective mouthpiece to change how you breathe at night. During use, either mouthpiece will be introduced to a significant amount of bacteria. While you might keep the mouthpiece in a case when you're not using it and rinse it occasionally, it may still contain lots of bacteria. Only a thorough scrubbing with a brush will reduce its bacteria. If you have any questions about other habits that may introduce bacteria into your mouth, consult a dentist like those at Lake Pleasant Dentistry.