What is fact and what is fiction when it comes to dental hygiene. There are plenty of misconceptions out there when it comes to taking care of your smile, with the correct information, good oral hygiene can be achieved easily in a few minutes a day, whilst wrong practices will cause irreversible damage.

Myth #1:
The harder you brush, the cleaner you’ll get your teeth

A soft bristle brush would be best and less harmful on your enamel. When brushing too hard with abrasive toothbrush of medium to firm bristle, it can actually cause more harm to your teeth by eroding the hard enamel that protects the tooth from cavities and decay. Our dentist often see many patients who think they are getting their teeth cleaner but in fact are wearing away the enamel and even the gums.

Myth #2:
Flossing is optional

Flossing is effective in tackling the buildup left in between teeth and places where the toothbrush is unable to reach.

Myth #3:
Chewing sugar free gum is just as good as brushing

This has some measure of truth in it; thought chewing sugar-free gum cannot replace brushing. Chewing sugar-free gum, especially with xylitol, can protect teeth as the gum encourages saliva production thus washing away any acids left from food or drinks. However, you should still brush two times a day.

Myth #4:
If you bleed when you floss, it should be left alone.

Our dentist explains that the reasons why gums bleed are due to inflammation. This is often caused by bacteria and plaque buildup between our teeth where our toothbrush bristles are unable to reach. Over time the bacteria buildup causes gums to be inflamed and thus bleeds. It would be best to floss daily, when you make it a habit the inflammation and bleeding will eventually go.

Myth #5:
No one will know if you’ve been slacking on brushing and flossing

You’re not tricking anyone but yourself. Our dentist can tell, without regular brushing and flossing, hard tartar forms around your teeth and at a certain point, you can’t get it off with brushing alone. Plus, you can’t undo the inflammation in your gums after 6 months of accumulation, with just a few days floss. Bleeding gums and the amount and location of tartar are dead giveaways.

Myth #6:
When it comes to cavities, sugar is the main culprit

When you think of cavities, you think of sweets and lollys, but did you know that crackers and chips are equal culprits. It has to do with the starchiness, carbohydrates in general have sugars that break down the teeth, but they are also really crafty and stick to your teeth.

Myth #7:
If you have sensitive teeth, it means you have worn away too much of the enamel on your teeth.

Sensitivity is a key symptom of the loss of enamel (the hard protective layer on the outside of your teeth). However, having sensitive teeth could be caused by other factors, such as gum recession, or even using whitening toothpastes. The hydrogen peroxide (used for whitening) can penetrate through the enamel into the layer beneath, which is the sensitive part of the teeth.

Myth #8:
The whiter your teeth are, the healthier they are.

This can be true but not always. Teeth are naturally white and many things can cause our teeth to get darker, for example smoking, stains from food and drinks, medication, or just the natural process of aging.

Myth #9:
If nothing is bothering you, you don’t need a dental checkup.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions. With a lot of dental issues, you won’t feel pain right away. The issue is, once the symptoms appear, it is often a bigger issue. If you wait till cavity hurts to get it checked out, you could end up needing a root canal or extraction that could have been prevented with regular checkups. The point of going to the dentist is so that we can prevent things happening to teeth to protect them and notice things before they become an issue.
So now you know the facts, make sure to visit a dentist regularly. Book a slot with us now at: 03 2118 2999.

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Beverly Wilshire Dental

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