6 Oral Hygiene Myths and What to Do Instead

 In Dental Talk - Tumwater Family Dentistry Blog

We all think we know best when it comes to our own health, but what if we told you many of the most widely believed facts about oral hygiene are actually false?

In the following article we detail six dental myths and what the truth actually is, so you’ll know exactly how to keep your smile in the best shape possible.

Dental Myth 1: To get the cleanest teeth you need to brush hard

A common misconception is that you need to apply heavy pressure while brushing to get the cleanest teeth. Not only is this false, it can actually cause long-term issues such as receding gums, enamel wear and even tooth sensitivity, according to Everyday Health.

The best approach to brushing your teeth is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, placed at a 45-degree angle to your gums and moved gently back and forth. Additionally, you should brush for a full two minutes. For the best results, spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth, using a watch or timer to time yourself.  Many electric toothbrushes even have a timer conveniently built-in.

Dental Myth 2: Bleeding gums while flossing means you should stop

Tasting blood or noticing it in your sink after flossing is never fun. However, bleeding while flossing should never be treated as a sign to stop. Instead, Colgate advises that those with this problem should continue to floss daily. As the flossing improves your oral hygiene and dental health, the bleeding will subside and your gums will benefit!

Dental Myth 3: Flossing right before an appointment will fool your dentist

If you don’t floss regularly, dental professionals can tell – as this Everyday Health article acknowledges. One or two days of flossing will not remove months of plaque build-up in the spaces between your teeth. Thankfully, it’s never too late to start daily flossing and we are happy to give you tips to make it an easier task.

Dental Myth 4: Sugar causes tooth decay

This dental myth is not totally false, as sugar does significantly contribute to tooth decay. However, the real culprit is the destructive bacteria that feed off sugar, not the sticky, sweet substances themselves. The best ways to prevent tooth decay are to brush and floss as directed, limit your intake of sugary drinks and snacks and be sure that your mouth is clean before bedtime.

Dental Myth 5: If your teeth are white, they’re healthy

Just as an otherwise healthy-looking person can have hidden health issues, the same can be true for your teeth. There are a number of dental problems that only begin to show symptoms once serious damage has already occurred. That’s why Dental Care recommends scheduling regular dentist appointments every six months to ensure continued health in your mouth.

Dental Myth 6: Gum disease only affects your mouth

If it’s a problem in your mouth, it’ll stay in your mouth, right? False. Gum disease has been linked with the development of a number of different conditions, including; Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and respiratory disease, as explained in this Medical News Today article. To reduce the risk of complications down the road, prioritize oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Contact Us!

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up some misconceptions you may have had about oral hygiene.

For questions regarding dental health or dental procedures to give you the smile of your dreams, please contact us at (360) 352-0401 or email us at office@tumwaterfamilydentistry.com.

For more information, visit our contact us page.

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