An overwhelming majority of adults have caries (Tooth Decay) on their permanent teeth, which suggests that proper oral hygiene is gravely misunderstood. We are all well aware of the fact that we need to take better care of our teeth, but it’s somewhat disconcerting to know just how many myths about proper oral hygiene there are out there floating around on the internet. People seem to perpetuate these myths without bothering to do some rudimentary research, so in order to fight against all that misinformation, we came up with this handy list of common myths regarding dental hygiene, which will aim to effectively dispel them once and for all.
- You need the latest expensive toothpaste to keep your teeth clean
Companies spend tons of money on marketing, so there is a lot of hype involved with different toothpaste brands. However, all that talk of “whitening technology” and other such nonsense is pure marketing gibberish. There are several basic ingredients that make toothpaste work; for example, fluoride, calcium or magnesium carbonates, glycerol or glycol, detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate and thickening agents. Most reasonably priced toothpastes will cover all the basics, so there is no need to spend a fortune to get clean, white and healthy teeth.
- Dental treatments are painful and uncomfortable
A lot of people have an irrational fear of dentists. They associate going to the dentist with pain and discomfort, but it’s no longer the 18th century, and no dentist is going to try and pull someone’s tooth out while three other people hold the patient down. Modern anaesthetics allow dentists to perform complex procedures without the patient feeling any pain. As for comfort, dentists’ chairs are probably some of the most comfortable chairs you will sit on in your life.
- You should only see a dentist if you notice a problem developing
If your motto when it comes to dental hygiene is “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, it may be time to re-evaluate your strategy. Just because nothing hurts or no problems are immediately apparent, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay your dentist a visit. There can be a number of potential oral health problems developing slowly, which can end up causing you trouble in the future, so scheduling annual or biannual visits to the dentist is a good idea.
- Once you repair your teeth you don’t have to focus on oral hygiene any more
Even worse than neglecting problems until they get out of hand and require extensive repairs to fix, is the tendency to avoid brushing and flossing once a number of teeth are effectively repaired. However, proper maintenance is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, even if you have had plenty of reconstructive work done – dental implants and crowns have to be properly taken care of as well.
- If your gums bleed, you should brush your teeth less often
It’s a normal reaction to be a bit concerned when you see blood, but you shouldn’t worry too much if your gums bleed a little when you brush your teeth. You either don’t brush them frequently enough and need to give the gums time to adjust, or you are using brush that’s too hard. With regular brushing, a softer brush and proper brushing technique, this problem should go away after a while.
- Lightly brushing your teeth for 30 seconds a few times a day is enough to keep them healthy
While brushing your teeth several times a day – e.g. after large meals – is a good idea, you need to focus on what you are doing instead of just quickly going over your teeth with a brush and rinsing. It takes some time to clear all the food debris and remove the plaque from your teeth, and it requires both careful brushing and flossing on a regular basis to keep your mouth healthy and clean. So, take your time, and make sure you clean every nook and cranny carefully, and don’t forget to clean your tongue as well.
- Having white teeth equals having healthy teeth
It’s likely that one of the main reasons why so many people end up developing serious dental problems is the fact that they look in the mirror, see a number of shiny white teeth, and conclude that their oral hygiene is on point. However, it’s possible to whiten teeth by bleaching, and white teeth don’t necessarily equal healthy teeth. There could be cavities developing in places that are not easy to spot, such as between the teeth, and if you fail to fix the problem early on it can end up causing you a lot of pain and costing you a lot of money to fix.
- Sugar rots your teeth
Doctors often boil things down to sound bites when trying to explain a complex issue to the general public, and this is why the old gem of dental wisdom “too much sugar will rot your teeth” is still so prevalent. Yes, the bacteria that cause tooth decay feed on sugars, but in order for them to develop and wreak havoc there has to be enough sugar present for extended periods of time. What this means is that as long as you brush and floss your teeth carefully after eating candy or consuming sugary drinks you will be fine. This doesn’t mean that you should go and gorge on nothing but sweets though, as proper nutrition is also very important for oral health, but some chocolate from time to time is completely acceptable.
- You will lose a tooth during pregnancy
This one is quite puzzling, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it came from, but some people will actually tell you that it’s normal for a woman to lose a tooth during pregnancy. When you ask why, they will throw the word hormones around and look smug. In all actuality, morning sickness and some hormonal changes can have a negative effect on the tooth enamel or cause gum inflammation respectively, but if proper care is taken, there is no reason for a healthy pregnant woman to start losing teeth or have any cosmetic changes to their smile.
These oral hygiene myths and many like them are so widespread and accepted as general knowledge that they are causing problems for those who take them to heart and put them into practice.. Follow the tips given in this article, and share any useful information with your friends and family to help dispel rampant oral hygiene myths.
Do you still have questions or doubts? Feel free to get in touch with our friendly staff today.