8 Common Misconceptions About Oral Hygiene You Should Know

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 8 Common Misconceptions About Oral Hygiene You Should Know

Once again, you’re standing in front of your mirror, half-asleep, trying to remember the steps you need to take to keep your teeth healthy and squeaky clean. While oral hygiene is so important some people can think they are doing the right thing yet are actually making small mistakes. Let’s take a look at some of the common misconceptions so you can hold onto those pearly whites and maintain that winning smile for a long time to come. These are 8 common misconceptions about oral hygiene you should know.

1. Brushing Too Hard

Has your toothbrush ever snapped in half while you were brushing? If so, this is a sure sign you are brushing your teeth far too hard. It is a common oral health mistake many people make. Even electric toothbrushes can be overused. Some people think the harder they brush the cleaner their teeth will be. Brushing too vigorously will cause the enamel to wear out and damage gum tissue, making your teeth more susceptible to decay.

2. Brushing Immediately After Eating

Brushing straight after eating seems like the logical thing to do. You want to ensure no food sits in your teeth for too long, especially after coffee. You probably can’t stand the stains coffee leaves on your teeth any more than we can. But brushing immediately after food or coffee can damage them. Coffee is highly acidic and brushing directly after a cuppa will force the acid further into your enamel. It is better to wait at least 30 minutes. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water after drinking or eating to neutralise the acid.

3. Drinking Fresh Juice

Every time you log into Instagram or Facebook you can’t scroll through without coming across a health blogger’s fresh juice. While these vibrant drinks might be good for your body, are they good for your teeth? The answer is no. Foods loaded with pigments can cause staining on the enamel. It is recommended people use a straw for heavily pigmented liquids like juices and coffee. That way, you minimise the pigments your teeth are exposed to.

4. Brushing Too Often

If you are a teeth cleaning fanatic it is time to step away from the toothbrush. Flossing once a day and brushing twice a day is ideal. You don’t need to go above and beyond to maintain lily-white teeth. Over-brushing and flossing can cause damage to the enamel and gums the same way brushing too enthusiastically can. As the saying goes, it’s not in the quantity but in the quality of brushing. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste for around two minutes is perfect. So, stop packing your toothbrush and toothpaste in your work bag and go back to being a regular person.

5. Sports Drinks

Athletes and gym junkies turn to sports drinks for a quick kick-start after a workout, but beware: sports drinks are not all good. Some sports drinks are so sugary you might as well pop a handful of boiled sugary lollies in your mouth and suck on them. Sure, these drinks might contain electrolytes, but some are worse than soft drinks. And when people don’t limit their intake of sports drinks as they would soft drinks, this can lead to cavities.
If you find it too difficult to sacrifice the sports drink, perhaps have a chat with your dentist.

6. Snacking Frequently

Are you a grazer? Do you prefer light snacks throughout the day compared to a full meal? If so, your little habit could be damaging your oral hygiene. The frequency of sugar consumption can be more damaging to your teeth than the quantity. Imagine sipping on a sugary drink and snacking on sugary food throughout the day as opposed to consuming it all in one sitting. Your teeth will be permanently coated in a sugary film which will eventually erode them.

So, if you are hankering after something sweet, take a seat and indulge in that sugary piece of cake and can of soft drink, instead of grabbing a handful of lollies every few hours or minutes. Better still, top your cake and soft drink off with a glass of water.

7. Sharing Toothbrushes

Hands up if you have shared a toothbrush before. Most people have. Maybe you have grabbed your partner’s or child’s in a hurry. Think before doing it again. It puts you at risk of oral infection. Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health. Bacteria enters the mouth through sores in the gums. Bleeding gums are an open gateway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. When you share a toothbrush, you are opening that gateway to so many problems not only in the mouth but the whole body.

Our toothbrushes hold onto bacteria, food particles, viruses and fungi. A common infection called periodontitis is caused by bacteria that collects on the teeth and gums. If you allow it to progress you can damage your bones and teeth. Treated properly by a dentist, the damage can be reverted.

So think twice before picking up someone else’s toothbrush. You’re better off chewing some sugar-free gum if you have lost your toothbrush.

8. Whitening Products

And finally, we have whitening products. We all want whiter teeth but having them professionally whitened by a dentist may seem a bit extravagant, especially when there is an overindulgence of options on the shelves. It seems like the plausible solution – trying the cheaper over-the-counter whitening kits.

But, beware – whitening kits sold outside of the dental professional industry are not regulated. Lab-based research suggests that in-chair whitening by dentists increases the strength of the enamel, making it resilient to acid erosion. Home whitening kits, on the other hand, have been shown to increase the loss of mineral content within enamel, thereby eventually leading to weakness. Overuse of home kits can also increase sensitivity and tooth structure modification. When it comes to teeth whitening leave it to the professionals.

 

So, there you have it, some common misconceptions about teeth hygiene. Brush twice daily, floss once a day, visit your dentist twice a year, stick to these tips and your teeth will thank you.

Helen Cartwright

Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. She writes for a variety of on leading online media channels.

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