When it comes to oral health, there’s a wealth of information available across the internet and social media, some accurate and some not so much. Throughout our decades of experience in the dental industry, we’ve really heard it all!
In our latest blog, we’re uncovering some of the most common dental myths and providing you with accurate information to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
Myth 1: Sugar is the Sole Cause of Cavities
The age-old villain: sugar. While it’s true that consuming excessive sugary treats can contribute to cavities, it’s not the only factor. Cavities develop when bacteria in your mouth break down carbohydrates (including sugars) and produce acids that erode tooth enamel. It’s essential that proper brushing occurs both morning and evening to remove these acids from the tooth to prevent them from eroding the enamel.
It’s also important not to brush immediately after a meal; you should wait at least 45-60 minutes to allow for dietary acids to decrease.
So, it’s not just about limiting the amount of sugar you consume, but also maintaining proper oral hygiene to prevent the acids produced from eroding the enamel on your teeth.
Myth 2: Brushing Harder Means Cleaner Teeth
We often encounter patients who think that brushing their teeth firmly and vigorously will result in a cleaner mouth. However, this isn’t the case and brushing too hard can actually be harmful. It can lead to gum recession, enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
Instead, we always recommend a medium textured toothbrush and use gentle, circular motions to effectively remove plaque without causing damage.
Electric toothbrushes are preferred as they offer a consistent clean. Battery brushes (like any device that is battery powered) start to lose power from the first use, so will not give the same level of power every time.
Electric brushes also have a pressure sensor built in, to help prevent over brushing.
Myth 3: If My Gums Bleed, I Should Avoid Brushing Them
Bleeding gums can be concerning, but avoiding brushing or flossing them is not the solution. Bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease (gingivitis) caused by the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. Regular brushing and flossing, along with professional dental cleanings, can actually help improve gum health and prevent further complications.
Myth 4: Whiter Teeth Are Healthier Teeth
While many associate white teeth with good oral health, the colour of your teeth isn’t the only indicator of their health. Teeth can be naturally off-white or slightly yellowish and that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem.
Too much use of teeth whitening toothpastes can lead to tooth sensitivity and enamel wear as they tend to be more abrasive, especially the ones which contain Baking Soda as an active ingredient or the brands targeted at smokers.
We would recommend using an everyday fluoride toothpaste as standard and limit the use of whitening toothpaste to once or twice a week.
So it’s important to focus on overall oral health rather than solely chasing a Hollywood-white smile.
Myth 5: Baby Teeth Don’t Matter, So Oral Care Can Wait
Some parents believe that since baby teeth eventually fall out, they don’t require the same level of care as permanent teeth. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Baby teeth play a crucial role in speech development, proper chewing and guiding the eruption of permanent teeth. Neglecting baby teeth can lead to dental issues that may affect a child’s oral health well into adulthood.
Separating dental fact from fiction can make a significant difference in your oral health journey. By dispelling these common dental myths we hope you’re better equipped to make informed decisions and maintain a healthy smile for years to come.
Remember, regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene practices are your best allies in achieving optimal oral health so why not make an appointment today, particularly if you have any oral concerns. We are here to help!
Do you have dental concerns you’d like to discuss? Get in touch today to speak to our team of specialists.