5 Myths about Dental Hygiene

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!

How to Cure Bad Breath

Gone are the days of wondering what sensory auras your breath brings along with it—the secret to fresh breath isn’t a fancy new gum promising long-lasting flavor or a new breakthrough, “different-than-the-rest” mouthwash that feels like it’s burning your taste buds off. This no-gimmick, no-hassle method of success isn’t really a secret at all; in fact, it’s what mom and dad have instilled in you since you were a little kid, and it’s possible you’ve slacked off on in your adult life.

 

Brush Daily

—at least twice daily, that is. When you’re a kid, it’s easy to follow this routine, since your parents are telling you to do so morning and night, but in our busy daily work lives, it can be easy to forget. Brush once in the morning to combat morning breath, stimulate your gums for healthy mouth bacterial management, and give your mouth a fresh start for the day, thus preventing bad breath. At night, brushing before bed clears the history of all the food and drink that may have built up a film on those pearly whites throughout the day, so you can rest your head on that pillow peacefully knowing your oral hygiene is on track.

 

Floss

We all know the drill (pun intended)–you go to the dentist at least once a year, only to be asked if you’ve been flossing. You reply with a muffled “uh-huh”, even though you and your hygienist both know your teeth haven’t been flossed since the last time you sat in that chair. They don’t give the advice out for nothing–do your part and take one minute out of your day to run some string through those teeth. Others will thank you for it–for your odorless-ness!

 

Regular Dentist Visits

The floss-dental hygienist-dynamic leads to the next point –how important it is to get your teeth cleaned regularly. While most of us operate on forgetfulness when it comes to oral health, twice-yearly is considered the gold standard for teeth-cleanings. If you want to stay on top of the odor your breath may give off–you need to make this a priority every six months. Plaque builds up on your teeth and also affects the health of your gums, which is a big cause for not only bad breath, but discoloration of the teeth.

 

Steer Clear of Tobacco Products

Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco has never gone hand in hand with good dental hygiene.That’s because both of those products contain carcinogens–and anything that has been proven to cause cancer, can’t be good for your breath. These substances essentially stain your insides with bad odor. So if you’re a user of these products, step one should actually be to discontinue their use. Tobacco products make all of the previous tips redundant.

 

Log the Food You Eat

We all know the classic culprits for bad breath when it comes to food and drink–there’s coffee breath, garlic breath, onion breath… the list goes on and on! If you’re having issues with bad breath and are doing all of the above but still can’t get to the bottom of it, your diet may be to blame. Keep track of things you eat in a day, that way you can rule out some things. Certain acidic foods can affect your stomach’s ecosystem, thus causing acid reflux, heartburn, and burping. Which, of course, doesn’t make for the best company in terms of breath odor. Not to mention, wine, coffee, and other dark drinks stain white teeth, so that you not only have issues with the odor of your mouth, but also a noticeable change in your smile!

 

Things like food allergies or sensitivities can also be to blame for stinky breath. Logging the food and drink you consume may help you recognize any issues you may have with, say for instance, dairy or gluten—common sensitivities that can also affect your breath!

 

Despite their basic, well-practiced utilization, these five basic rules are easy to lose track of. But if we stick to the basics and follow the advice of our parents and dentists, bad breath won’t stand a chance—practice these tips religiously in order to reap the benefits and prevent stinky breath!

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