With today’s easy access to information and all sorts of “alternative facts” floating around out there, it’s easy to get confused about what’s believable and what should be ignored. In particular, there are plenty of warped “alternative facts” about keeping a good healthy mouth. Let us help you by telling you which myths need to be ignored immediately!
Myth: White Teeth are Healthy Teeth
A glamorous white smile doesn’t necessarily mean you have healthy teeth. Most people focus on the surface area of the teeth to determine whether they have a healthy smile. But it’s important to know that your tooth is more than just the visible surface area. Even people with the whitest smiles can have severe issues with their gums or inside their teeth. They may never floss! It’s not that having white teeth doesn't equal a healthy smile, it’s just that this is not a determining factor. Not to mention the fact that our teeth will naturally discolor as we age. Even though you may have shiny pearly whites, you should make sure you visit the dentist regularly to check your teeth for any issues, as well as keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that doesn’t just involve brushing (source, source).
Myth: Brushing Bleeding Gums is Bad For You Admittedly, it can be off-putting to see some blood when you brush your teeth. You may even notice it as you floss. Many people assume it’s from brushing too hard, so they choose to take it easy or even skip a few brushes and opt for rinsing with mouthwash instead. This is the WRONG thing to do. You want to consider brushing your teeth, because this is the first step to dealing with bleeding gums. If your gums are bleeding, you may have a case of gingivitis or plaque buildup beyond your gumline. It’s important to continue with your brushing routine, as well as, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Another tip when dealing with bleeding gums is instead of rinsing with water, rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash (source, source).
Myth: Tooth Decay & Cavities are Mainly Caused by Sugar This is not to say sugar doesn't cause cavities and tooth decay, but it is not the main cause. Bacteria in the mouth needs sugar to survive, so when you consume more sugar, you’re basically feeding the bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria, sugar, and acid all lead to an unhealthy mouth. Instead of completely staying away from sugar, watch your sugar intake and brush your teeth or rinse after consuming sugar. It’s important you understand that it’s not the sugar that is causing your cavities, it’s the lack of oral hygiene (source, source).
Myth: Brushing More Makes Your Teeth Healthier Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day is a pretty good routine. Once you start brushing above that, it can start causing damage to your enamel. Plus, if you’re using an abrasive toothpaste and using a harder toothbrush, you may be doing more damage to your teeth and gums. Dentists recommend brushing 2-3 times a day with a soft to medium toothbrush (source).
Myth: It’s Not Necessary to Visit the Dentist We're not just saying this because we’re a dental office, we're saying this because it is the absolute truth! Visiting the dentist is often seen as more of a luxury than a necessity, but that’s a common misconception. Part of keeping up with a good oral hygiene routine is visiting the dentist twice a year. Your dentist can address a lot of issues you cannot check, such as things happening below the surface, gum disease and even detecting oral cancer. Make sure you’re making your appointments bi-annually (source).