There’s a lot of information on the internet about oral health and hygiene. Not all of it is true. Certain dental myths and misconceptions have been passed down for generations before. It's important to know the facts in order to work on your dental health without any misconceptions. Let’s look at some of the most common dental myths that you must know of
1) Wait to see the dentist until its an emergency
This is a very common practice all over the world. The common reasons are expensive dental treatment or not giving as much importance to dental health as it deserves. In reality, dental health impacts your overall health and effective preventive care can help you reduce your dental treatment costs if any. Visiting a dentist every six months is a good habit that can help you improve your dental health and keep a check on your overall health. Your regular dental hygiene appointment checks allow your dentist to spot issues even before they become an emergency which helps you treat problems at an early stage.
2) You will clean your teeth more thoroughly if you brush harder
An abrasive toothbrush can erode the enamel of your teeth which protects your teeth from diseases and decay. Instead of keeping your teeth clean, brushing harder can cause more harm. It is recommended to use a soft-bristle toothbrush rather than a hard-bristle one such as this which is gentle on your teeth and does the job of cleaning pretty well.
3) Only sugar causes cavities
One common myth about teeth is that sugar itself doesn’t cause cavities. As the sugar breaks down, it feeds the bacteria that cause plaque in your mouth. Sugar also makes the acid that wears the enamel of your teeth worse. Even if you don’t consume sugar, you will still be risking your teeth with cavities if you do not brush and floss regularly as any kind of food can lead to plaque buildup and decay. Sugar does produce more acid and increases the chances of cavities in your mouth. The longer sugar stays the more harm it will cause hence it is recommended to brush and rinse your mouth as soon as you have sugary foods. Instead of having sodas and junk food you must replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables which will help mineralize your teeth and generate the flow of saliva.
4) White teeth mean healthy teeth - teeth whitening myths
It is not always true that whiter teeth would also mean healthier teeth. The colour of your teeth is dependent on many factors including your age. The older you are the darker or the more yellow the shade of your teeth. The colour of the teeth varies in lightness and is depended on age. Those who have whiter teeth do not necessarily have better oral health. They may still suffer from bad breath or cavities. Hence it is important to check other indicators of oral health such as breath, cavities, diseases etc. and not just the shade of your teeth.
5) Cavities in milk teeth aren’t as serious as the ones in permanent teeth
The oral health of children is important even if we know that they will lose their baby teeth because the decay of teeth and cavities can impact how their adult teeth form under the gums. If kids don’t learn how to take care of their teeth while they are young they are unlikely to maintain good habits of maintaining oral hygiene later. So, it's important to encourage your children to maintain good habits of brushing and flossing daily in order to prevent any cavities.
6) Pregnant women can ignore gum health
One common myth about teeth in pregnant women is that pregnant women can ignore gum health.
Pregnancy hormones can lead to sensitive and inflamed gums. This condition is also called ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ as dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. This doesn’t however occur in all pregnant women. Brushing your teeth daily, using a dental flosser and regularly getting dental check-ups done can help keep gingivitis at bay. Gingivitis can result in red, sore gums. It is important to maintain proper oral and gum health for the mother and the baby to prevent any complications later.
7) Flossing isn’t as important
One common dental myth busted is that flossing isn’t important. Flossing helps remove food debris stuck in between the spaces of your teeth. Flossing helps prevent tooth decay and does not create spaces between your teeth as commonly assumed. Flossing can help prevent your teeth from decay and bacteria. Flossing can be a difficult practice in the beginning but can be learnt with practice. To make flossing easier there are also water flossers available these days which help clean your teeth even more thoroughly with minimal effort required. Flossing must be a daily practice just like brushing.
8) Dental health doesn’t impact my overall health
Good oral hygiene is an indicator of good overall health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to risks and diseases in other parts of the body. For example, gum problems can lead to cardiovascular health risks and are also common in those suffering from diabetes. It's important to keep your oral hygiene in check in order to improve your overall health. Bacteria and germs can spread easily from your mouth to other parts of your body. Half of the digestion process takes place in your mouth hence it is important that your mouth is healthy or it may lead to appetite loss and weight loss if you eat less due to gum or mouth diseases.
These were some of the dental myths busted. Make sure you follow these along with a good oral hygiene routine. A good routine includes brushing twice daily, flossing every day, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash and a tongue cleaner. You can buy some amazing dental products that will help elevate your oral care from here. These four steps along with regular dentist visits will help you keep dental problems away.