General myths are usually harmless, but they can become harmful when they involve health issues. Oral health myths in particular can encourage poor dental hygiene, potentially leading to problems that may only be discernible years down the road. At East Bentleigh Dental Group, we want to make sure people recognise common oral health myths so they can take better care of their teeth and gums. That’s why we’ve compiled this short guide, identifying some of the more prevalent oral health myths.
It’s true that sugar produces an acid that causes tooth decay, but it is the length of time it stays in contact with teeth rather than the level of consumption that increases the rate at which cavities develop. For example, drinking a litre of cola in one go is less harmful for your teeth than having a few glasses worth over the course of a day.
Many people consume sugar-free soft drinks believing they won’t damage teeth, but even without sugar, these carbonated drinks have high levels of acid which can destroy tooth enamel. To maintain good oral health, it’s recommended to stick to fluorinated water over anything else.
Optimal dental hygiene requires you to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Inevitably, the bristles of your toothbrush will deteriorate over time, losing their effectiveness and necessitating a replacement. Regular brushing of teeth should mean that a replacement is necessary every 3 or 4 months – not once a year.
While many believe that hard bristled brushes clean more effectively, a toothbrush with hard bristles can wear down the surface of teeth and gums, so it’s important to use a brush that has soft and flexible bristles. These have the added benefit of being able to clean between teeth and reach otherwise inaccessible areas.
It’s best to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic foods and drinks. You can rinse your mouth with water immediately afterwards, but brushing can push acids deeper into the enamel, doing more harm than good.
If you’ve fallen victim to any of the above oral health myths, contact East Bentleigh Dental Group today to organise a check-up. Call (03) 9575 1100 or message us online.