It might surprise you to learn how many common dental myths are accepted as basic truth. There’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene, many of us overcompensating in an effort to avoid any unpleasantness in the dental chair. By dispelling a few of these common dental myths, we can better focus on what matters most – the fundamentals!
True or false – the more sugar you consume, the more rapidly your teeth will decay.
The answer is false. Although it may conflict with everything we learned as a child – those sweets will rot your teeth! – sugar intake has little to no bearing on tooth decay.
So how did this myth originate? Sugar acts as nourishment for bacteria present in the mouth. The bacteria produces acid as a byproduct that damages the enamel of our teeth over time. Unfortunately for anyone with a sweet tooth, sugar receives the bad rap in this case. Decay is attributed to prolonged acidic exposure despite requiring fuel in the form of sugar.
True or false – bad breath is directly related to poor brushing.
The answer here again is false. Saying that bad breath is directly attributed to poor brushing habits is oversimplifying the situation.
Bad breath is created through a variety of factors, only partly associated with brushing. The foods you consume play a major role – have you ever kissed someone who just ate garlic? Yuck! Another major contributing factor is illness, conditions such as pneumonia creating havoc in the mouth. Occasionally skipping a routine brushing is the least of your problems when it comes to bad breath.
True or false – you shouldn’t brush areas of the gum that bleed.
Are you noticing a pattern here? The answer of course is false. Bleeding gums still require the attention of your toothbrush.
This myth perhaps exists due to basic logic. Traditionally we leave well alone when we experience minor bleeding, trusting the problem will correct itself. The opposite is true when it comes to bleeding gums.
Bleeding in the gums occurs when food particles accumulate near the gum line, causing the area to become aggravated and inflamed. You should target areas that bleed in the gum closely, exercising enough care to address the buildup. You may similarly experience such bleeding while flossing for many of the same reasons.
Practice regular brushing and flossing habits to ensure your oral health!