There are so many dental hygiene myths out there. From brushing and flossing techniques to the importance of biannual appointments, it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Today, we want to consider five dental hygiene myths and share the truth behind each one.
Myths About Healthy Dental Hygiene
1. The harder I brush, the cleaner my teeth will be: In truth, aggressive brushing is counterproductive. It causes gum recession and also wears away the white, glossy enamel on your teeth, making them look yellow and stained. Plus, you’re putting yourself at risk for developing sensitive teeth.
For proper brushing, technique is more important than pressure. Use light pressure and small circles to work your way through your mouth. Electric toothbrushes are a great solution if you think you’re scrubbing too hard. It’s almost impossible to brush too hard with these types of brushes.
2. My dental health doesn’t impact the rest of my health: Your oral health is actually a trustworthy indicator of your overall health. Someone experiencing severe tooth decay is more likely to have bacteria enter their bloodstream, which can result in serious health issues. In fact, studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
3. Gum disease isn’t common: According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 52 percent of people aged 30 and older have gum disease. With increased age, we naturally become more susceptible to infections.
Additionally, the American Dental Association (ADA) shares that pregnancy hormones can cause sensitive and inflamed gums, a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis.” Without proper care, this condition can turn into gum disease, which can negatively impact both mom and baby’s health. Daily brushing and flossing as well as additional dental cleanings can prevent this issue from occurring.
Proper Education for Good Oral Health
4. There’s no need to brush my child’s baby teeth: You should actually start cleaning your baby’s gums before their first tooth breaks through. Gently rub their gums with a wet washcloth. If you do it around the same time each day, your child will begin to recognize it as part of their daily routine, which will make the transition to brushing easier.
Once your baby starts to sprout teeth, the ADA recommends brushing their teeth and gums twice a day — once in the morning and once before bed. You should use a rice-size amount of fluoride toothpaste and, as soon as they’re old enough, encourage them to spit after brushing. Between the ages of 6 and 9, your child can start to brush their teeth on their own.
5. If nothing is bothering me, I don’t need a check-up every six months: A regular visit to your dentist isn’t just to fix something that’s wrong. It’s important for plaque removal too. Additionally, your dentist may be able to catch a developing problem and correct it before it causes too much trouble. Remember: When it comes to your oral health, small issues are typically less painful, less expensive, and less time-consuming than larger ones. So don’t skip your regular appointments!
Schedule an appointment at Maitland Ave. Smile Co. today!
Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like pediatric dentistry, dental anxiety, and the impact of stress on oral health.