10 Oral Hygiene Myths to Bust this Holiday Season
There is a lot of information circulating around the Internet: FACT. All of the information on the Internet is true: MYTH. When it comes to oral hygiene and dental health, we want to be sure that you’re fully armed with accurate information, so that you’re providing yourself with the best care possible.
Here are 10 oral hygiene myths that we’re going to bust as we dive head first into the holiday season where treats and eats are aplenty:
Brushing harder is better
If you want your teeth to be as healthy as possible, do not employ hard brushing as an oral hygiene technique. In fact, if you brush too hard, you run the risk of damaging your gums as well as the surfaces of your teeth and tooth enamel. Make sure to brush in a gentle circular motion while angling your toothbrush at approximately 45 degrees toward your gums.
If you brush more, your teeth will be healthier
Similarly to the above myth, if you brush too frequently, you may also cause damage to your gums and tooth enamel. We generally recommend brushing twice per day as being sufficient, but if you can brush after all 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner), then even better.
Elderly people don’t need to brush their teeth or their dentures
Believe it or not, oral hygiene matters at EVERY age. People often forget that the mouth is connected to the rest of your body, and that poor oral hygiene can lead to or exacerbate other existing medical conditions. Whether you have your original teeth or dentures in the later stages of life, it’s still important to practice a proper dental health routine.
Baby teeth don’t need to be brushed
Untrue; we do recommend that you brush baby teeth. Not only will this help your child to get used to the sensation of brushing, but it’ll also encourage the adoption of an oral hygiene routine at a very young age. Moreover, baby teeth are important for function as kids and also act as a means for saving space for their adult teeth.
Using a toothbrush cover prevents bacteria
You may feel inclined to cover your toothbrush, but doing this actually encourages the growth of bacteria rather than prevent it. Why? Because it creates a moist and enclosed breeding ground for bacteria. Rinse your toothbrush after using it to keep it clean and then let it dry by placing it upright in a holder.
Mouthwash is a replacement for brushing
Sure, many of us have used mouthwash as a quick solution to freshen our breaths and to feel clean; but the reality of the matter is that it simply does not replace the efforts of brushing and flossing. Mouthwash can temporarily remove bacteria, but it does not possess the ability to remove sticky plaque and bacteria from your teeth.
Flossing isn’t necessary if you use an electric toothbrush
We’re not sure why this rumor is floating around the Internet, but it’s not true. Just like the notion that flossing doesn’t need to happen if you use mouthwash isn’t true. Let’s put it this way: the best way to take care of your teeth is to brush twice daily and to floss at least once per day. An electric toothbrush can clean the surfaces of your teeth better than a manual toothbrush, but it cannot accomplish floss’s mission. In fact, the only real way to remove plaque and build-up between your teeth is through the assistance of our string-like friend.
Flossing creates spaces between your teeth
If you’ve gone a while without flossing, you may feel as though you’re pulling the floss so hard that you’re creating space between your teeth. But guess what… you’re not! If there is a lot of plaque and build-up between your teeth, then it may be more difficult to floss but you do not need to worry about actually moving your own teeth.
Gum disease only affects your mouth
This is perhaps one of the more important myths to understand. Gum disease contains bacteria that can spread to other parts of your body. It can also be linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
You don’t need an exam if you don’t have oral health concerns
For reasons like those mentioned above, it’s important to see your dentist for a regular checkup every 6 months. Just because you may not think you’re experiencing any oral health issues, it’s best to see a professional who can properly assess and diagnose your dental hygiene status in an effort to promote and maintain your overall health.