There are several opinions out there on what is best for your oral health, which can make it difficult to know what is true and what isn’t. At Smith Dental, we want our patients to know what is best when it comes to maintaining the health of their teeth and gums, which is why we want to debunk these oral health misconceptions.
Common Oral Health Misconceptions
Flossing isn’t as important as brushing – Brushing is the best way to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth to give you a whiter smile, healthy teeth, and fresh breath, yet flossing is just as important as brushing. Plaque likes to hide between teeth and in gum pockets and your toothbrush may not be able to reach these places. If this plaque isn’t removed, it can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
Lots of sugar mean lots of cavities – Most people are told that eating candy and sugary foods will cause cavities, but this is only partially true. Yes, sugary foods can contribute to tooth decay, but there are certain kinds that are worse than others. For instance, hard candy that needs to be dissolved in the mouth for a while will cause more damage than something that is consumed quickly. Sugary juices and sodas can also be harmful, so it is best to use a straw when consuming these products.
Hard bristle brushes clean better – It may seem like a stiffer bristle will be better at scrubbing away plaque build-up, but it can actually be damaging your gums. The hard bristle can cause gum irritation and inflammation, allowing more bacteria to bush its way between teeth and gums. Soft bristles will still give you clean teeth, but without hurting the soft tissue in your mouth.
If you have healthy teeth you don’t need to see the dentist – People who brush and floss regularly will have a lower chance of developing gum disease and tooth decay, yet it is still a possibility. When plaque isn’t removed, it calcifies and becomes tarter, which cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Once the tartar builds-up it can cause major damage to your oral health, which is why it is important to go to the dentist regularly for cleanings. They will also do exams to make sure if there are any dental concerns they can be treated quickly.
Ask Your Dentist
Everyone is different, and so is their oral care needs. The only way to know what will be best for your oral health is to ask your dentist. Some people are more prone to gum disease than others and need to visit the dentist more often, while some have great genetics and may only need a cleaning once a year. If you are in the Aloha, OR area and would like more information on how to maintain your oral health, please contact us today!