Most likely, the first myth you believed to be true and were devastated when the truth surfaced was the Tooth Fairy! The moment you realize each tooth isn’t worth a crisp dollar bill under your pillow is a hard pill to swallow, especially as a child. But now that you’re older and wiser, there can’t be more myths we still believe about our dental hygiene, right? Actually, there’s a lot of myths circling dental hygiene that, much like the tooth fairy, need to be debunked.
Myth: The more you brush, the better!
Truth: Over-brushing can lead to tooth enamel wear and tear.
Enamel is the ultimate protection for your teeth. It’s the thin coating over your teeth that protects them from everyday wear and tear. It’s also responsible for a very important part – your teeth’s color. It seems basic logic that the more times a day you brush your teeth then the cleaner, healthier, and whiter your teeth will be. However, watch out, because over-brushing can lead to a very real consequence – toothbrush abrasion. The constant brushing action can cause weak, sensitive teeth and receding gums. Like most things, it comes down to moderation and finding the optimal schedule for your personal dental hygiene!
Myth: Mouthwash can work as a replacement for floss.
Truth: Flossing is the best and most efficient way to get the plaque between your teeth.
Flossing is one of the most important practices of dental hygiene. I mean, there’s a reason your dentist asks if you’ve been flossing every time you are in for an appointment. Out of ease, and general laziness, the myth has emerged that using mouthwash is on par and can replace your need to floss. Although mouthwash has its own major benefits for dental hygiene, it cannot get in between your teeth where the most stubborn of plaque lie. Not only does it get into places mouthwash (and even normal brushing) can’t get to, flossing helps your gums out by preventing gum disease. This occurs when there’s an excess of built up plaque in your soft gum tissue. Flossing is not something to be overlooked or taken for granted in your dental routine!
Myth: Gum disease isn’t that common.
Truth: Gum disease is actually very common in adults.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded that half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease. That’s no joke – and neither is your dental hygiene! As mentioned above, gum disease occurs when there’s an excess of built up plaque in your soft gum tissue. Some symptoms include bleeding, receding, sensitive, swollen, and abnormally red gums. In some serious cases it can even cause teeth to be loose and shift. The best way to prevent this is to have a set dental routine 2 times a day that includes brushing and flossing. With this routine in place, plaque shouldn’t stand a chance!
Myth: Bad breath originates from the food you eat.
Truth: Bad breath originates from bacteria buildup in your mouth.
It is true that short term bad breath may be from those garlic fries you ate for lunch, but chronic bad breath comes from bacteria in your mouth. Sometimes it’s not something a simple piece of gum or mouthwash can fix. It could be the symptom of an underlying condition. For example, a cavity, gum disease, or cracked fillings could be the cause of the bad breath. If this is the case, it’s crucial to see a professional to find the real root of the problem.
Myth: It’s only necessary to schedule an appointment if your tooth hurts or is damaged.
Truth: Regular scheduled appointments with your dentist is vital to your dental hygiene.
The key to proper dental care is prevention! Having a regular check-up with your dentist is beneficial because they will be able to catch bad practices and first-signs of disease even before you feel them! In the long-run, it saves you time and pain incase you were to ever need to get a serious procedure. Not to mention, money, since dental procedures can run a high bill when a simple recommendation from the doctor could have prevented it.
Although nothing should be as shocking as a child realizing the tooth fairy isn’t real, some of these myths might still seem surprising. The best way to keep up to date and stay away from these popular myths is to talk to your trusted dental professional!