Some Facts (And Fiction) About Oral Hygiene

By | January 10, 2019

To help you care for your teeth more effectively, we’ve put together a list of a few of the most common myths, inaccuracies, and misconceptions as suggested by Winnipeg dental hygiene. Dive in now, and see how you can protect your teeth.

1. Six-Month Teeth Cleanings And Oral Exams Are Unnecessary

This is simply false. While you may be tempted to see a dentist only once per year, or skip your teeth cleanings entirely, this is a bad idea, even if you have a very good oral care regimen.

Seeing a dentist every 6 months allows you to catch any potential oral health issues before they become severe. In turn, this allows you to avoid expensive procedures like fillings, crowns and root canals.

In addition, your oral hygienist will be able to buff, clean and polish your teeth, and scrape away plaque and tartar which you cannot remove on your own. In the long run, seeing a dentist every 6 months is the best way to protect your teeth, and it will save you both time and money.

2.  Flossing Isn’t Important If You Use An Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes have been shown to improve the health of the teeth and gums. They are more efficient when it comes to removing food debris and cleaning the teeth.

However, this doesn’t mean you can skip flossing if you’ve got an electric toothbrush. Even the best electric toothbrush cannot get into the tiny crevices between your teeth, where food and bacteria build up. To reach (and remove) this debris, you need to use dental floss, so make sure you floss at least once per day, no matter what kind of toothbrush you’re using.

3. It Doesn’t Matter When You Brush, As Long As You Brush Twice A Day

We will admit that, compared to not brushing at all – or only brushing once per day –  brushing twice per day is a good thing.

However, it does matter when you brush. Brushing in the middle of the day is typically less effective than following the ADA-recommended advice of brushing once at night, and once in the morning.

Why? Because when we sleep, our salivary glands produce much less saliva. Our mouths are typically drier, meaning our saliva cannot wash away food particles or clean our mouths as effectively.

In contrast, saliva flow is higher during the day, which helps keep our mouths clean. In addition, if you go to sleep with food particles on your teeth, they will just sit there all night, and contribute to tooth decay. For these reasons, it’s recommended that you brush at night.

In fact, the best brushing schedule is to brush three times a day. Brush once in the morning, after breakfast. Then, brush after you eat lunch during the day, and brush again right before bed. Following this schedule will help you keep your teeth clean and white for years to come.

4. Gum Disease Is Rare, So I Don’t Need To Worry About It

Most people know that tooth decay (cavities) is very common. Just about everyone has had at least one cavity. But gum disease is rare, right? So you don’t need to worry.

Wrong. Around half of all US adults have gum disease. For those aged 65 and older, this percentage jumps to 70.1%.

Most of these cases are of gingivitis, which is relatively minor and can be resolved with proper brushing, and flossing, and periodontal treatments from a dentist. However, if you do not get the treatment you need, gum disease can progress further, and become irreversible.

For this reason, you need to make sure you stay on top of your oral care routine, and see your dentist every 6 months. And if you have gingivitis, you must take additional steps to ensure you can treat and reverse the disease.

Know The Facts (And Fiction) About Oral Hygiene!

These four myths are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other misconceptions about proper oral hygiene and care. So, how can you get more information and make sure you protect your health? Schedule a check-up with your dentist, of course! If you’ve got other questions about your teeth, your dentist will be happy to answer them during your next oral exam and teeth cleaning.

This content is sponsored by Ben Obirek.

Photo: Shutterstock

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