Unfortunately, there are plenty of myths surrounding proper tooth care. You might even be hurting your own teeth because of this false information. In an effort to provide our patients with the truth about tooth brushing, Quay Dental has put together this quick list of the most common brushing myths.
Brushing right after eating is best.
It might make sense when you think about it, but the truth is that you should wait a bit before brushing after a meal or snack. You might have heard about enamel and how important it is to protect this hard outer layer on your teeth. If you lose enamel at a significant rate, you can be putting your teeth at risk. The body has a natural defense against leftover food. After eating, the amount of saliva in your mouth increases. This helps to naturally remove some of the starches and unwanted substances left in your mouth after eating.
However, it also softens the enamel on your teeth temporarily. If you brush immediately after eating, you could be scrubbing away your tooth enamel unknowingly. Waiting about an hour after eating to brush is ideal.
Children don’t have to brush as often
They’re just baby teeth, right? Does it matter if they get a few cavities? This is the mentality that most people have towards baby teeth. But the truth is that the health and condition of baby teeth are often the blueprint for permanent, or adult, teeth. If a baby tooth is removed early due to decay, important space can be lost, making it impossible at times for adult teeth to come through the gums. Keeping baby teeth happy and healthy can have a positive impact on a child’s adult smile.
Don’t brush if you have bleeding gums
Sometimes when brushing or flossing, you might notice a bit of blood coming from your gums or in between two teeth. Many people take this as a sign that they are brushing too hard or that they should give that area a break from brushing. The truth is that the bleeding is a good sign. While it means that an infection is present, the bleeding is a sign of healing. If you continue your regular brushing routine, even with bleeding gums, you should notice that it stops as the condition of your gums improve. Giving the area a break from brushing will only make the infection worse.
Chewing gum will clean your teeth just as well as brushing
Depending on the type of gum that you are chewing, you can be helping your body clean your teeth. Sugar-free gum after a meal can help to prevent tooth decay, thanks to the presence of natural sugar substitutes. But never assume that chewing gum will replace brushing. After waiting at least half an hour after eating, brush as normal.
If you’ve been a believer of any of these myths, don’t feel bad. Now that you have been empowered with the correct information, you can start working towards healthier teeth and gums.