6 Common Misconceptions About Oral Health
Dental health is more than just having white teeth! There are other factors beyond just having pearly whites that you need to take into consideration if you really want to achieve truly superior oral health. To enlighten you more, here are six common misconceptions about dental health and the real truth behind them.
It’s best if You Brush Your Teeth After Eating…
A study was conducted where a group of volunteers were observed for three weeks as researchers examined the impact of brushing on their teeth after they drank diet soda. In this study, the scientists found an increase in dentin loss when brushing in the 20 minutes after drinking soda. However, there was considerably less wear when brushing took place 30 or 60 minutes afterward.
Contrary to popular belief, brushing your teeth immediately after eating is not good for the enamel of your teeth. Your human nature would tell you to grab your toothbrush and scrub away at your teeth straight after a meal to get rid of any food particles. However, modern studies have proven that brushing right after eating not only gives you a weird taste in your mouth; it can also be detrimental to your overall dental health.
Research shows that brushing too soon after eating, especially with meals that are partnered with acidic drinks, can do more harm than good. Acid attacks the teeth, eroding enamel and the layer below it, called dentin. By brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin.
Whiter Teeth are Healthier Teeth…
Perhaps the most common myth is that having whiter teeth means that your teeth are healthy. Your teeth may be white, but this cannot show if there is an infection or cavities between the teeth. Pure white teeth do not equate to healthier teeth, although they should be on the whiter side. The natural color of teeth varies from one person to another where people with healthy teeth could have more yellowish teeth than the next person.
Your teeth also yellow with age, but that doesn’t mean they’re not healthy. On the contrary, ultra white teeth could be bad. It can mean your teeth have excessive fluorides or hypocalcified spots that denote calcium deficiency.
What’s important is the pinkness of your gums: Healthy gums should look pink and firm, not red and swollen. To keep gums healthy, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day, see your dentist regularly, and avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
You only need the dentist when the tooth aches…
Usually, people only go to see the dentist when they have toothaches, and by this time, the problem is almost severe. Do not have that mentality of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it applied on your dental health. Have your teeth checked up regularly because you won’t know if you have a dental health problem unless a dentist checks it. You’ll save yourself more dollars and, of course, your teeth if you keep yourself regularly checked.
Experts recommend that adults should be called for dental check-ups, depending on risk factors including alcohol, tobacco use and diet. It is recommended to go to a dentist every three months for those most at risk of dental problems and every two years for those with the lowest risk.
It’s wise to visit your dental team regularly even if you are not experiencing any problems with your mouth or teeth. Having check-ups regularly helps you and your dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist keep your teeth and gums healthy and pain-free. They understand your needs and can recommend how often you should visit them back based on their assessments.
Regular dental check-ups should also be practiced all the more when you already have dentures. You can have the best dentures from Anchorage Dentures or Instant Smile premium dentures, but you still need them checked frequently for overall dental health.
Bleaching is Dangerous for your Teeth…
Before, people have claimed that bleaching their teeth developed several oral problems. However, bleaching has been mastered by dentists for years now, and it’s not any more dangerous to your dental health.
Bleaching is one of the most used dental aesthetics services in recent years with the new technology allowing patients to get whiter smiles faster and safer. Prior to 90’s, the acidic raw materials has been used to bleach teeth, causing unnatural enamel break down, but now, these bleaching materials are PH neutral and do not show damage to the enamel or root of the tooth with its use.
When you are bleaching your teeth, you are simply oxidizing your teeth using carbamide peroxide so that light refracts more favorably off the enamel. What can be dangerous are aggressively high concentrations of whitening gels that can traumatize or shock the tooth. Prolonged use of bleaching could cause sensitivity, but once one ceases to use the trays, the pain should go away.
Sugar is the killer of teeth…
Excessive sugar can be bad for your teeth. However, it’s not actually the sugar that is hurting them. Bacteria in the mouth needs processed sugar to survive, but if you don’t consume sugar and have poor oral hygiene habits, you can still be prone to the same decay. Conversely, if you eat a lot of processed sugars you are more likely to incur a certain amount of tooth decay, but with proper dental hygiene you, won’t get them.
Several species of oral bacteria feed on carbohydrates and produce acid as a by-product through a process of simple fermentation. These bacteria live on the teeth in a biofilm called plaque. The acid slowly eats away at the tooth enamel, a thin layer of calcium that covers the tooth.
Basically, the human tooth is in a constant state of mineralization and demineralization. Saliva helps neutralize acid from food to keep demineralization at a minimum. However, if the region gets too acidic, then demineralization takes over and rot sets in.
Nevertheless, maintaining oral hygiene through brushing and flossing regularly can clear away food residue and starve the bacteria, keeping its growth in check. In the absence of brushing, the carbohydrates that linger the longest can cause the most damage.
Overall, the true cause of tooth decay is the combination of bacteria, sugar, and acid. Your gums can get irritated if sugar gets caught in between your teeth. It is important to brush or rinse after eating, especially after sweets, to get rid of the sugars and acids that can damage the enamel.
Flossing is optional…
Flossing is an extra step many people tend to skip after brushing our teeth but this can lead to the buildup of bacteria. If someone doesn’t floss, he or she is not cleaning almost 33% of their tooth surfaces that regular brushing can’t reach.
Brushing alone cannot clean the whole area around a tooth when there is another tooth beside it. Flossing completes tooth brushing by removing dental plaque and food debris remaining in the inter-proximal region (the area that is between two teeth). That region is a place where tooth decay commonly forms.
Also, if dental plaque that is found between teeth is not cleaned, it can eventually release a bad odor from your mouth. This is a major reason why a person may suffer from bad breath (halitosis). Tooth decay and gum disease, also caused by dental plaque, are a source of a bad smell in the mouth as well.