Busting Six Common Myths About Oral Care

Busting Six Common Myths About Oral Care

You want to take the best care of your smile. When you were young, your parents probably taught you how to take care of your teeth and now, you’re responsible for your own oral care.

But have you been doing things right or have the things you’ve been taught not been as helpful?

Many of us were taught different oral care habits that actually aren’t beneficial for our teeth and gums. What are some common myths about oral care? Let’s talk about six different myths that could be impacting your smile!

Myth #1: Brushing Right After a Meal Is Beneficial

Some people were taught that brushing their teeth immediately after a meal is the best way to remove plaque and prevent damage to your tooth enamel that could cause cavities.

However, research has shown that brushing immediately after a meal can cause even more harm to your tooth enamel.

In fact, the American Dental Association advises people to wait a full 60 minutes after eating a meal to brush their teeth, especially after eating something acidic. Why is this?

Your tooth enamel is porous and is affected by the different substances that you eat. This means that your tooth enamel may become softer or weaker after eating as your oral cavity’s pH balance changes based on the food you consume.

When you brush immediately after eating or drinking an acidic drink such as soda, you can hurt your tooth enamel and even cause it to slowly wear away over time.

Myth #2: Artificial Sweeteners Are Better Than Regular Ones

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is beach-2752753_640.jpg

Some people think they’re doing their smile a favor by skipping real sugar and instead going with artificial sweeteners, such as those found in diet sodas and sugar-free candies.

The truth is that, while they don’t actually contain sugar, artificial sweeteners can be just as harsh on your tooth enamel as regular sweeteners, according to research.

Consider that the pH of a regular cola with sugar is around 2.52 while the pH of diet cola is only 3.1. That’s not much of a difference, and they’re both far below a neutral pH of 7.

If you choose to drink soda, be sure to follow with water and never brush your teeth immediately after!

Myth #3: It Doesn’t Matter What Toothbrush I Use

Brushing your teeth is instrumental to preventing cavities and gum disease, but choosing a toothbrush with stiff bristles can be unnecessarily harsh on your tooth enamel and your gumline.

The American Dental Association advises using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard bristles can damage gum tissue, tooth enamel, and even contribute to gum recession.

Does it matter if your toothbrush is manual or electric? There’s some research showing that electric toothbrushes are more effective, especially for people who have trouble with their motor skills or people with gum disease. In the end, manual or electric doesn’t matter as long as you’re brushing your teeth!

Myth #4: If I’m Brushing and Flossing at Home, I Don’t Need to See the Dentist

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bathroom-15612_640.jpg

While cleaning your teeth at home is instrumental to preventing oral disease and cavities, visiting your dentist is just as important.

Your dentist can spot problems before you’d have a chance to notice. Not only that, but your Asheville dentist will conduct a professional teeth cleaning which will remove the traces of plaque everyone inevitably misses when cleaning their smiles.

In addition to conducting a thorough exam and cleaning, your dentist can conduct an oral cancer screening. This is a simple screening that can be part of your regular oral health exam and your dentist may ask you a few questions to ensure your smile is healthy.

Getting professional care for your teeth and gums at least once a year or as directed by your dentist in Asheville can help prevent bigger problems from sabotaging your beautiful smile!

Myth #5: Dental Restorations Last Forever

When people get a filling to repair a tooth that has a cavity, some people are under the impression that their tooth is now fixed for life and no further repairs are needed.

The truth is that fillings have a life expectancy, which varies based on their material and how well they’re cared for. Unfortunately no dental restoration lasts forever.

You should always get your fillings checked up by your dentist in Asheville. Fillings that are cracked or damaged require prompt attention so that bacteria can’t penetrate the tooth and cause decay underneath your dental filling.

Other dental restorations such as bridges, crowns, and dentures will all need to be replaced at some point, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that your restoration is meant to last you for life!

Myth #6: Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy Is Normal and Doesn’t Require Treatment

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is belly-blurred-background-body-952597.jpg

It’s true that women who are expecting a child are susceptible to changes in hormones which can not only alter bacteria in the oral cavity, but can cause increased blood flow to the gum tissue.

These changes in the body can result in tender or swollen gum tissue and bleeding when brushing, all of which are symptoms of gum disease. While many of these women will see their symptoms subside after the birth of their child, in the meantime, your smile could be affected.

Women who are pregnant could have gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease. Even though this is considered common, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t receive treatment to protect your smile and your baby in the meantime.

It’s not only safe to receive treatment for gum disease during pregnancy, but could prevent your child from having a low birth weight and being born premature, two things gum disease has been linked to!

How Well Do You Take Care of Your Smile?

Were any of these six myths surprising to you? When your oral health affects not just your appearance but the rest of your bodily health, taking the best possible care of your smile is essential to a long, happy life!

Contact us at Saunders DDS to schedule an appointment with our oral care team to ensure your smile is healthy. Request an appointment online here or call us at (828) 277-6060. See you soon!