Five Myths About Dental Hygiene

Maintaining your dental hygiene is essential, but so is keeping on top of dental myths. Often false information about how to clean and maintain healthy teeth is misinterpreted or taken from unreliable resources. Caring for your teeth is a delicate balance and requires care without going to extremes. Some people experience dental anxiety and might form their interpretations of dental care, which could be incorrect and lead to further damage to their teeth. The key is to follow your dentist’s instructions and receive information from legitimate resources. If you think you might be buying into some myths about dental hygiene, we debunk several common misconceptions below so that you can care for your teeth correctly.

The More You Brush, The Healthier Your Teeth Will Be

This is one of the most common myths about caring for your teeth. Because brushing your teeth can prevent a buildup of plaque or food, you might think it makes sense to brush your teeth more. Maybe even every time after you eat or drink. This perception is false. According to the Mayo Clinic, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time. Brushing too much can cause sensitive teeth and receding gums. 

Sugar Promotes Cavities

Sugar does contribute to the formation of cavities, but it is not the sole cause. According to NYC Dental, sugary and sticky foods draw bacteria to hang out on and around our teeth, and these particular bacteria form an acidic compound that causes tooth decay. To prevent tooth decay, it is recommended that you rinse after eating. 

Brushing Your Teeth Before the Dentist Means They Won’t Notice Problematic Habits

Another widespread myth is that brushing before the dentist can potentially cover up any bad habits since your last visit. This is entirely untrue. For example, if you have not followed a regular brushing and flossing regimen since your last appointment, the dentist can identify that. A lack of brushing can create red, irritated gums that bleed. 

Flossing Isn’t Necessary

Red, irritated gums that bleed are a sign of a buildup of plaque that could contribute to gingivitis and gum disease. To prevent sensitive gums, we all must stick to a brushing and flossing regimen. According to an article from the National Library of Medicine, flossing removes up to 80% of plaque. However, only 40% of Americans floss daily. 

Chewing Gum Is Just As Good As Brushing

Although there are some chewing gums that are designed to promote healthier teeth and prevent bad breath, chewing gum is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are the best actions you can take to reduce plaque and other dental problems. 

Are there any myths that you recognize? Now that you know some common misconceptions, you know what to avoid and what not to avoid. It can be easy to fall prey to misinformation but stay informed for the benefit of your teeth. For more guidance on teeth maintenance or concerns, consult your dentist.

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