Myth Busters: Lets Bust Some Dental Health Myths

Excerpt: There's a lot of dental misinformation out there, if you trust the wrong info it could lead to cavities...

Root Canal Fast Facts

  • 25% of adults DO NOT brush twice a day. This increases their risk of developing tooth decay by 33%.
  • 90% of a bad breath smell originates in the mouth.
  • Roughly 25% of American adults have no teeth.

False Dental Facts And Misinformation

There’s a lot of dental misinformation out there, if you trust the wrong info it could lead to cavities, infections, missing teeth, and other negative outcomes. With your teeth, it might be difficult to know if you’re doing the right thing or the wrong thing since it always takes a long time for the changes to materialize in your teeth, but once they do dental problems, are often irreversible.

Myth 1: Sugar Causes Cavities

Didn’t think you were gonna see this myth on our list did you? By itself sugar alone does not cause cavities in your teeth, tooth decay is promoted when the bacteria to digest carbohydrates in your food. The carbohydrates are broken down by the bacteria, this causes acids to be released, which are damaging to teeth. Since carbs are in most foods humans need to eat, prevention is better than avoidance. If  you do eat carb rich foods, just be mindful of it. Make sure to brush your teeth extra careful on days when you have lots of sugar.

Myth 2: Bleeding Gums Are Normal

Bleeding gums should definitely not be considered, “normal”. Bleeding gums is caused by gum disease (gingivitis), generally, gum disease is a symptom of poor or inadequate dental care.


In order to combat gingivitis:

  • Brush for longer
  • Floss and brush daily 
  • Use mouthwash daily
  • Get regular checkups.

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Myth 3: Brushing Harder Is Not Better

Since we just covered two things that require more, or better brushing, let’s define what bad brushing is. Applying too much force to your gums can be damaging even if they are healthy. If you think you might be brushing too hard for your gums, try to do it more gently. Brushing should not be a painful or uncomfortable activity, this means applying light to medium pressure on your gums while brushing.

If you want to really take your brushing to the next level, you can measure your pressure: 
  • Grab a kitchen scale that can weigh grams in the hundreds.
  • Apply 150 – 200 grams of pressure.
  • Use this same amount of pressure on your teeth.
 

Of course, if you don’t want to be this precise you can just brush your teeth as normal and try varying degrees of pressure.

Myth 4: Flossing Teeth Isn’t Necessary

Lots of people are under the impression that brushing your teeth does a good enough job without flossing. We’re here to tell you this is decidedly untrue. Flossing will remove up to 80% of your plaque! Some foods like chicken and candy are notoriously hard to remove from your teeth. For these reasons, more than flossing needs to be done for a clean and healthy.

Myth 5: Regular Dental Checkups Aren’t Necessary

People like to assume that they don’t need regular checkups if they have a good dental routine and they have healthy teeth. Even if your dental health was 100% and your teeth were cavity-free, we would still recommend checkups at least 1-2 times a year. In their early stages, certain dental problems have no telltale signs. You may have plaque building up that you are unaware of, a dentist can get rid of this plaque before it becomes tartar.  They can also spot things like teeth growing improperly, if a dentist can fix a tooth before it becomes a bigger problem, it will almost always be less expensive, and less of a hassle.

Myth 6: Gum Is A Substitute For Brushing

Since chewing gum rubs on your teeth like a toothbrush, some people are under the impression that you can get away with using gum instead of brushing. This may be an ok tactic if you’re eating a midday meal and a toothbrush isn’t available. Sugar-free gum can do some cleaning and may help lessen the chances of gingivitis from happening. However, chewing gum is not a outright replacement for brushing your teeth. If you brush your teeth, you can still chew gum and vice versa, but chewing gum on it’s own is not a good enough  excuse to stop brushing.

So What’s The Bottom Line?

There are many websites offering help online, make sure you double check your sources before incorporating their advice. If you’re really unsure of a tactic or solution mentioned in a blog, ask your dentist!

More time is not always better, try to aim for 30 seconds per each quarter of your mouth, (try to brush all your teeth evenly).

About the same time as brushing, it might take a little longer as flossing can be tricky for some people.

Yes! Finish your routine by swishing a small mouthful of mouth wash for a bout 30-60 seconds.

That’s ok, the modern standard tooth brush has worked for over a century!

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