November 9, 2021
The average person spends nearly 80 days brushing their teeth throughout their life. With as much time as we spend taking care of our pearly whites, there is still a lot of misinformation out there about how to maintain good oral health. How can you know what’s true and what’s just a myth? Read on as we debunk six common dental myths about health and hygiene.
Myth #1: Brushing Your Teeth Hard Makes Them Cleaner
Many patients think that aggressively brushing their teeth will make them cleaner. In reality, this can wear away your enamel and irritate your gums, which makes your pearly whites more susceptible to cavities and decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to avoid damaging your enamel and to strengthen your teeth while removing food particles and plaque buildups.
Myth #2: Flossing Isn’t Important Anymore
This myth couldn’t be any less true! Flossing removes roughly 40% of the plaque on the surface of your teeth. Not flossing makes you more susceptible to cavities between your pearly whites. Floss at least once per day to ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned and to lessen your chances of developing oral health issues.
Myth #3: If Your Gums Bleed When Flossing, Leave Them Alone
If you find that your gums bleed when you floss, this isn’t a sign that you should leave them alone. In fact, it’s actually a sign that something is wrong. If you don’t floss at least once per day, you’re leaving food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth. This causes gum irritation, which is what makes your gums bleed. If they continue to bleed after you’ve incorporated flossing into your daily routine, make an appointment with your dentist.
Myth #4: Sugar Is the Main Cause of Cavities
Sugar can do a lot of damage to your teeth, but so can other foods. Things that are high in carbs and starch break down into sugar, so they can harm your teeth in the same way as sweet treats. Foods and beverages that are highly acidic can also damage your enamel. Additionally, not brushing and flossing raises your chances of cavities by giving oral bacteria more time to feast on food particles and release acids that erode your tooth enamel. Opt for tooth-healthy foods like apples, leafy greens, and carrots.
Myth #5: Gum Disease Only Affects the Mouth
Though gum disease is characterized by gum inflammation, it may also be a sign that there are other health issues within the body, such as hypertension, diabetes, or certain types of cancer. It’s essential to your oral and overall health that you take it seriously and receive treatment from your dentist as soon as possible.
Myth #6: If Nothing Hurts, You Don’t Need to Visit the Dentist
Visiting the dentist at least two times per year is a crucial part of maintaining good oral health. During these checkups and examinations, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth and examine your lips, tongue, jaw, gums, and neck to ensure that there aren’t any worrisome developments. Regular checkups allow them to identify and treat issues as soon as possible.
The internet can be a useful tool, but it can also spread dental myths and other misinformation like wildfire. Make sure to consult your dentist for the facts to ensure that your mouth stays as healthy as possible!
About the Author
Third Street Dental offers a comprehensive list of restorative, cosmetic, and preventive dental procedures and treatments to help patients maintain healthy smiles and good oral health. They treat Columbus patients with the kindness, compassion, and understanding they deserve so trips to the dentist are as stress-free as can be. Are you interested in scheduling an appointment or have questions about dental myths? Call Third Street Dental at (614) 228-4850 or visit their website to get started on your journey towards the smile of your dreams.
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