When it comes to dental health, you may hold a number of misconceptions. While you recognize that regular oral care is important, you may not understand the best ways to care for your teeth. In addition, you may be unaware of the most effective diet and hygiene strategies. Dr. Gershberg and his team are committed to patient education. When you come in for your biannual appointments, we will discuss your at-home care, eating habits, and treatment options. Then you can make informed decisions and lifestyle choices that will more effectively protect your smile. In addition, Dr. Gershberg can clear up some of the misunderstandings that you may have about oral health. Below, he addresses 6 of the most common dental myths.
1. Hard-Bristled Brushes Are Better Than Soft Bristled Brushes.
You may assume that hard-bristled brushes can more effectively eliminate bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Actually, the harder bristles are likely to damage your gum tissue, leading to inflammation and dental sensitivity. Over time, your gums could even start to recede. This will expose your tooth roots and possibly cause tooth loss. In addition, the hard bristles could erode your dental enamel. This outer layer of your teeth is essential, since it forms a protective barrier for your teeth. As it starts to wear away, you will have a higher risk for cavities, discoloration, and dental infection.
In contrast, soft-bristled brushes can effectively clean your teeth without harming your teeth or gums.
2. It Is Always Better to Brush Immediately after Eating.
One of the most popular dental myths is that you should brush right after every meal. While it is important to brush your teeth after eating, you should actually wait about half an hour before you do. Food particles and sugars will remain in your mouth. If you brush too soon, you will simply rub the substances into your tooth enamel. While you are waiting, rinse with water to wash away the sugar and bits of food.
3. Brushing in the Morning Is More Important Than Brushing at Night.
Like most people, you probably wouldn’t leave for work without brushing your teeth. However, your nightly brushing routine is actually more important for lasting oral health. If you go to bed without cleaning your teeth, bacteria and starches will remain in your mouth for 8 hours, and they can cause significant damage during this time. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should skip brushing in the morning, either. For one thing, it is the only truly effective way to address embarrassing morning breath!
4. If You Brush Twice a Day, You Don’t Really Need to Visit the Dentist.
We cannot overestimate the importance of professional dental care. At-home hygiene is certainly important. However, brushing will only remove bacteria and food particles. It cannot really eliminate plaque and tartar. The longer these substances remain on your teeth, the higher your risk for decay and periodontitis. Only a dentist or hygienist can eliminate sticky plaque and hard tartar. Plus, your biannual visits will allow Dr. Gershberg to check for cavities, gum inflammation, and the early signs of oral cancer.
5. Sugar Is the Only Food That Can Affect My Teeth.
Since you were a child, you knew that too much sugar can cause cavities. Nonetheless, there are other substances that can significantly damage your smile. Acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus, soda, and white wine, are a major culprits. High pH levels will erode your enamel, allowing bacteria to access the underlying layers of soft dentin. These tissues are also more porous and, therefore, more prone to discoloration.
Dark-colored foods and drinks can also contribute to dental stains. Red wine, coffee, tea, tomato sauce, and similar products will leave dark-colored molecules attached to your enamel. While stains will not affect the structural integrity of your teeth, they can greatly impact your appearance.
6. My Oral Health and Physical Wellness Are Not Related.
Every part of your body is intimately connected. When you have a disease, infection, or inflammation in one part, your overall physical health will suffer. This is especially true when it comes to oral-systemic wellness. When bacteria accumulate in your mouth, they can easily pass into your blood stream. Many scientists believe that they will then increase your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
In addition, missing teeth can upset the balance of your bite. In turn, there will be a lot of pressure on your jaw joints, and you could develop TMJ Disorder, chronic headaches, and ear pain. If you have a large number of missing teeth, it can make it difficult to eat, and you may not be able to get all the nutrients you need for a balanced diet. Fortunately, we offer multiple restorative options to repair your smile and dental function.
Contact Us for More Information about Dental Myths
Do not let dental myths come between you and a healthy smile. To learn more about oral health or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gershberg, contact our office today.