There are a lot of misconceptions about proper dental hygiene and health out there and sometimes it’s hard to find the facts through all the clutter. Our team recently started a series called “Myth Busters” to set the record straight and make sure our patients have the best information to keep their smile sparkling. Here is a recap of all the dental myths we have BUSTED throughout the last couple months.
Myth #1: Brushing well twice a day is enough to keep my teeth and gums healthy.
The Truth: Brushing alone does NOT replace the need for flossing! Flossing is the only way to remove plaque and food debris that end up in between our teeth in certain areas below the gum line.
Plaque gradually builds up and over time causes gingivitis and/or tooth decay! Flossing helps to remove the plaque wedged between your teeth that cannot be removed by brushing alone- it also helps to reduce the risk of gingivitis, bad breath and cavities! For best practice- ignore the flossing myths and make sure you’re flossing once a day.
Myth #2: My crowded teeth are just a cosmetic problem. It has no impact on my oral health.
The Truth: Crowding can contribute to bigger oral health issues. Although usually a slow process – certain gum issues, teeth sensitivity, decay and even chipping and tooth breakage can occur due to misaligned teeth.
Reach out to our team to find out about some predictable options to correct your crowding or other alignment issues. Addressing any dental issue at early stages saves you time and money in the long run.
Myth #3: My tooth doesn’t hurt so I probably don’t have a cavity.
The Truth: If you have a small to medium sized cavity it usually gives you no pain or sensitivity and can only be detected by x-ray or clinically by a dental professional.
Cavities are best treated when they are small. When a cavity gets large we tend to feel sensitivity or pain and sometimes require more treatment than just a filling. (Google “root canal” for more info.) Prevention is key- so make sure you see your dentist a minimum of every 6 months for your check up! This will save you time, money and keep you feeling healthy.
Myth #4: Sugar alone can cause cavities.
The Truth: Sugar is a part of the process, but not the only factor. Cavities are formed through a multi-factor process.
Some people have the misconception that sugar alone causes cavities. This is not true- sugar is a part of the process, but not the only factor. Cavities are formed through a multi-factor process.
There is a reaction between a specific type of bacteria and sugars to create acid. The resulting acid and acidic environment in your mouth can destroy tooth structure. Controlling bacteria (i.e.- proper hygiene) and managing the frequency of exposure to sugars and acids is the most effective formula to avoid cavities.
Myth #5: Using a harder-bristled toothbrush cleans my teeth better.
The Truth: Harder bristlers often cause more damage to your teeth and gums than good, especially in cases of aggressive brushing.
It can be confusing picking out a new toothbrush. Among the different brands, you often see the labels for soft, medium, or hard bristles. If you’re like most people, you’d think the harder bristles would do a better job of cleaning your teeth.
While hard and medium bristles are marketed as being able to remove slightly more plaque than soft-bristled brushes, we still recommend choosing a brush with soft bristles for the best dental care. Harder bristles often cause more damage to your teeth and gums than good, especially in cases of aggressive brushing.
If you feel that brushing manually with a soft-bristled toothbrush isn’t giving you the clean you’re looking for, talk to your dentist. Switching to an electric toothbrush may be a better option, without the damaging effect of harder bristles. Talk to our hygienist’s about the best routine for you at your next cleaning!
We hope you enjoyed our first round of Dental Myth Busters! Check back to our Instagram page for more facts coming soon. If you have any questions, contact our professionals today for more information.