January 20, 2021
You try to keep up with a good oral hygiene routine so that you can keep your smile in excellent shape. However, this is quite difficult to do when you hear so much different information floating around the internet. How do you know what to believe and what you should brush aside? A dentist is here to help. Continue reading to learn about some different dental myths so you know the difference between fact and fiction.
Myth 1: Brush Harder for Cleaner Teeth
You may think that brushing hard is necessary in order to have cleaner teeth. However, you could actually be doing more harm than good if you are brushing vigorously twice a day. Even though your enamel is the strongest substance in your entire body, that doesn’t mean that it is completely indestructible. You could end up eroding away your protective enamel if you aren’t careful. This means sensitivity, discoloration, and an increased risk for cavities in the future. Be sure that you always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and stick to gentle, circular motions.
Myth 2: Sugar-Free Gum Is a Substitute for Brushing
Sugar-free gum does have some benefits for your smile. It encourages additional saliva production that helps to wash away enamel-eroding acids brought about by sugary foods and drinks. While chewing sugarless gum may be better than nothing, it isn’t anywhere close to being as effective as brushing and flossing. You still need to be brushing twice and flossing once each day.
Myth 3: You Should Stop Flossing If Your Gums Bleed
If your gums begin bleeding when you are flossing your teeth, you may feel like you should stop. However, this is actually a sign that you should be brushing more often. Usually, this happens because of bacteria and plaque being stuck along the gumline. This causes inflammation and bleeding. Once you get into a good habit of flossing regularly, this should stop happening.
Myth 4: If Nothing Is Bothering You, You Don’t Need to See Your Dentist
While you may not feel any pain in the mouth, the truth is that many dental issues do not cause any discomfort early on. Once you begin feeling symptoms, you likely have a bigger issue on your hands and may even require a more invasive treatment. Ultimately, going to the dentist is a great way to prevent issues before they become serious and painful.
Myth 5: Sugar Causes Cavities
This one may not be a complete myth, but you are missing a lot of the story. When you have foods that are heavy in carbs, the bacteria in your mouth begin to digest it. As a result, they release a weak acid as a by-product. This is actually what causes cavities to develop over time.
You can’t believe everything you hear. By keeping up excellent oral hygiene and seeing your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and checkups, you are more likely to keep your smile healthy going forward.
About the Author
After achieving his Bachelor of Science in Biology from James Madison University, Dr. Samuel E. Woolwine III earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Virginia Commonwealth University. Afterwards, he was honored to be inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, which is the National Dental Honor Society for students who have demonstrated excellence in character, scholarship, and professional growth. To learn more or to schedule an appointment at his office in Lynchburg, VA, visit his website or call (434) 847-5331.
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