Your oral hygiene is actually very important to your overall good health, as a tooth infection can easily travel in the body and settle in another weakened area and dental pain can mean not eating properly so that you don't get the nutrition you need. As important as it is, many people make some common mistakes with their oral hygiene that cause problems with their teeth or the need for more work when they're at the dentist's office. Note a few of those here so you're sure to avoid them yourself.
1. Brushing too soon after eating
Food acids can weaken tooth enamel, so brushing while these acids are still present in your mouth can damage teeth. It's good to wait some 30 minutes after eating before you brush, so saliva in your mouth can rinse away many of these particles. This gives your enamel time to harden again so that you don't cause tiny erosions in the tooth surface with your toothbrush.
2. Concentrating on one side of the mouth
Right-handed people may tend to brush more on the right side of the mouth, and vice-versa for left-handed persons. This may be because it's uncomfortable to hold your hand across your mouth to get the opposite side clean. This can lead to some tooth decay and cavities on that opposite side. To avoid this problem, count down the seconds or even watch a clock in the bathroom when you brush to be sure you get both sides of the mouth thoroughly and completely.
3. Getting dehydrated
You may not think of what you drink and how much as being part of your overall oral hygiene routine, but saliva rinses away food particles, as mentioned above, so that they don't stick to teeth and cause plaque and eventual gum disease. If you're dehydrated, your mouth might get dry, which makes bacteria and other contaminants stick to teeth and gums; drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva in the mouth for added cleaning between brushing.
4. Being too rough on teeth
If your teeth are yellowed or your breath is always bad, talk to your dentist about solutions to these problems rather than thinking you should brush harder or use abrasive baking soda and other products. Being rough on teeth can damage the enamel and won't address deep stains; bad breath can also be the result of infected tonsils, acid indigestion, or other health concerns completely unrelated to your teeth and how you brush them.