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Busting Dental Myths

Myths are very much part of everyday life. People are quick to believe fallacies without question. But when myths intertwine with health areas, the outcome is potentially dangerous and only does more harm than good as far as your oral hygiene in concerned.

Here are some of the most popular myths people unknowingly mistake as gospel truths:

Excessive brushing achieves a shining smile
Overzealous brushing is just as bad as not brushing at all
[1]. Contrary to popular belief, it will not make your teeth look shinier; it only destroys gums and tooth enamel. Tooth surface is made of enamel and excessive brushing for extended periods will only wear enamel down which can lead to tooth sensitivity, not to mention other complications[2]. It is recommended that you brush twice daily for two minutes at a time.

Chocolate is a culprit for tooth decay

Many people think eating chocolate is a sin when it comes to oral hygiene. But it’s not the main catalyst of tooth decay, so this statement is only partially true. Tooth decay is caused by what a person does or doesn’t do in between eating chocolate[3]. If you fail to rinse your mouth afterwards, of course you’re setting yourself up for tooth decay when sticky chocolate particles are left behind to cause bacteria[4]. Therefore, it’s safe to consume small amounts of chocolate; just clean your teeth afterwards.

No visible problems means I am fine

It’s not a valid reason to skip seeing your dentist for your regular dental assessment just because your naked eye cannot see any visible problems. In many cases, only professionally trained dentists can identify oral problems and it’s always best to start necessary treatment in the earliest stage possible for the sake of your health and wallet. Seeing your dentist every six months is as essential as is putting your car in for scheduled maintenance services.

 Toothpicks only widen gaps between teeth

This is one of the oldest wives’ tales out. Using a standard toothpick to clean your teeth after meals will not widen the gaps between a person’s teeth. However, you must be very careful when using one as they can do nasty damage to your gums and soft tissue in your mouth. If you’re worried about using toothpicks, opt for dental floss instead to remove unwanted food jammed in between teeth.

References:

Drisko, Connie Hastings. “Dentine hypersensitivity–dental hygiene and periodontal considerations.”International dental journal 52, no. S5P2 (2002): 385-393.

Mansbridge, J. N. “The effects of oral hygiene and sweet consumption on the prevalence of dental caries.” Brit. dent. J. 109 (1960): 343-348.

[1] Drisko, Connie Hastings. “Dentine hypersensitivity–dental hygiene and periodontal considerations.” International dental journal 52, no. S5P2 (2002): 385-393.
[2] Drisko, Connie Hastings. “Dentine hypersensitivity–dental hygiene and periodontal considerations.” International dental journal 52, no. S5P2 (2002): 385-393.
[3] Mansbridge, J. N. “The effects of oral hygiene and sweet consumption on the prevalence of dental caries.” Brit. dent. J. 109 (1960): 343-348.
[4] Mansbridge, J. N. “The effects of oral hygiene and sweet consumption on the prevalence of dental caries.” Brit. dent. J. 109 (1960): 343-348.
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