We are always bombarded with certain statements that are sometimes true and sometimes false. It is true in the case of dental health. There are many myths that travel from person to person often clouding someone’s judgement. Brushing, flossing, rinsing… Are those really the basics of proper oral hygiene? Is flossing overrated? Do people think that brushing more often or harder makes your teeth healthier?
So let’s go through some true facts and dental myths together.
FACT: Good oral hygiene takes time: We all would like to improve our oral health in a minute, wouldn’t we? In fact, building a good oral hygiene routine requires consistency. And it seems like 90% of people are aware of this fact. Add small positive changes to your routine and this will gradually contribute to better hygiene. Remember the easy rules: brush twice a day for 2 minutes, floss once, use mouthwash, limit sugary and high-acid foods, and go to dental check-ups every 6 months.
MYTH: The more you brush your teeth, the healthier they’ll be: Brushing your teeth too frequently can lead to enamel wearout. Ideally, you can brush your teeth after each main meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have a busy schedule, twice a day is also sufficient if you do it properly. During the day you can replace brushing with using mouthwash or oral hygiene foam.
FACT: Hard brushing doesn’t make teeth cleaner: People do realize that brushing hard is not the best idea if you want your teeth to be clean and healthy. Hard brushing can damage your gums and teeth surface. Remember: It’s the technique that matters. Brush gently with circular motions in a 45-degree angle to your gums.
MYTH: You shouldn’t brush too close to the gum line: We should try to protect our gums. Not brushing close to the gum line is not a solution, though, as it hinders the proper cleaning of teeth. Bacteria often hang out where your tooth meets your gum – exactly there, at those 1-2 millimeters below your gum. This area is easily reachable; just make sure your toothbrush bristles can bend, don’t forget to keep the 45-degree angle, and don’t brush too hard.
FACT: Brushing teeth less than 2 minutes is insufficient: It seems like our schedules interfere with our routines too often, right? You’re late for school or work in the morning, or you desperately need to go to bed in the evening… Whatever the circumstances, don’t cut the brushing time short. Teeth need both time to recover from previous bad habits, and time to adjust to the improved ones.
MYTH: Older people’s teeth or dentures don’t need brushing: Oral hygiene matters in all ages. Don’t forget that your mouth is connected to your entire body so poor dental status can influence your general health negatively. Regardless of whether you wear dentures or you have managed to preserve your natural teeth, remember to practice a proper oral hygiene routine.
FACT: It’s not recommended to brush teeth immediately after eating: Sorry to break it to you but that’s just not a good idea as the acids in the food and drinks you consume tend to soften your enamel for a time. Brushing away the cavity-forming bacteria after eating is certainly important but wait a minimum 30 minutes before you do it in order to protect your enamel.
MYTH: You shouldn’t change your toothbrush every 3 months if it looks good: Don’t trust appearance too much. Even if your toothbrush looks good, it might have been stored improperly and thus filled with bacteria. Also, if you’ve used your toothbrush regularly, it’s not very likely that the bristles are in perfect condition. So make it a habit to change your toothbrush or brush head every 3 months. More often replacements (every month) are recommended if you have gum disease. And last but not least: Don’t forget to change it after you’ve been sick.
There are many myths about oral hygiene that float around deceiving people into taking incorrect actions. It is essential to know the rights and wrongs of dental hygiene in order to avoid any oral health problems.