7 Common Dental Myths, Explained and Debunked
Feb 1st 2022
There are many misconceptions and myths regarding dental hygiene that misguide many people. We put together 7 of the more common myths and explained the valid reasoning behind them!
Myth 1. The harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be
This is not true! Brushing your teeth “harder” can cause erosion of the hard enamel, which is there to protect your tooth from cavities and decays forming.
Likewise, excessively brushing your teeth, especially with lots of pressure, can wear down your enamel and damage your gums! It is essential to note that the type of toothbrush you use is important; dentists recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush. Learn more about proper dental equipment and brushing techniques by visiting our oral health maintenance tips.
Myth 2. Eating a lot of sugar causes cavities
This is valid in the sense that after you consume sugar if you don’t rinse your mouth or brush your teeth, the sugar will stay on and in-between your teeth and bind with plaque bacteria to produce acid. If this acid sits on the surface of the tooth for a prolonged period, it will dissolve your enamel slowly, causing cavities.
It’s how long the sugar sits in your mouth that determines how much damage it will do. So monitor your sugar intake, and be mindful of what you do after consuming sugar. Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth, flossing, and brushing after meals to reduce plaque buildup.
Myth 3. There is no need for a dental checkup if nothing hurts
TRUTH: This is a big misconception in oral health. If you don’t experience first-hand pain, this does not indicate that your oral health is good. You won’t always feel the pain right away with certain dental issues, like cavities and gum disease. Once symptoms of an oral issue appear, a more significant dental problem has likely begun to develop.
Going to your dentist frequently (recommended every six months) for checkups is a much easier and cost-effective alternative to curing a dental issue at its earliest stage, rather than having it develop to the point of pain.
Myth 4. The whiter your teeth are, the healthier they are
TRUTH: Although a white smile may come off as healthy, it is no indicator of healthy teeth. There is more to the tooth than color. The color of one’s tooth is an indicator of their habit. For example, if someone drinks a lot of coffee and smokes, they will develop staining or damage on the dentin, which is the portion of the tooth responsible for its color.
In addition, everyone’s natural teeth color can differ; therefore, whiter teeth are no indicator of better oral hygiene.
Myth 5. Brushing twice a day is good enough; flossing is not necessary
TRUTH: Flossing plays an essential role in maintaining proper dental hygiene. The area between your teeth accounts for 1/3rd of the total teeth surface area. Therefore cleaning it regularly is just as important as brushing daily. Some of the many benefits of flossing include preventing tooth decay, keeping your gums healthy, and can also prevent bad breath! Check out our top 9 reasons on why you should floss frequently.
Myth 6. If your gums bleed when you floss, leave them alone
TRUTH: If you experience bleeding gums when you floss, this is because you are not flossing often or good enough. Over time plaque and bacteria builds up in-between your teeth, and since your toothbrush can’t reach these spots, the bacteria buildup causes inflammation in your gums, which results in bleeding when you floss. Flossing consistently will solve this issue. However, if you still experience bleeding after a consistent flossing period, this may be a sign of a more significant problem and will require further dental assistance.
Myth 7. Oral health is unrelated to overall body health
TRUTH: Oral health is significantly related to the overall body; your mouth is an entry for potentially harmful bacteria. Neglecting your oral health can lead to much more severe health complications; for example, if you develop gum disease due to poor dental hygiene, you have a higher chance of developing diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
Maintaining proper oral hygiene with a solid, consistent regime and checking in with your dentist twice a year will significantly reduce the risk of other diseases entering and developing in your body.
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