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Debunking common misconceptions about oral health

Oral health misconceptions

Do you believe that sugar causes cavities? On a scale of one to ten, how hard do you brush your teeth, with ten being the hardest? If you’ve answered yes and a 10, you may be causing damage to your oral health. There are still a lot of misconceptions about oral health out there. Many people are unknowingly harming their teeth by adhering to dental myths.

When taking care of yourself, you should be able to distinguish facts from misconceptions. Thankfully, this page covers the common misconceptions people worldwide have about oral health to help you avoid doing wrong.

Myth #1. You don’t have to visit the dentist if nothing’s bothering you

The biggest dental misconception is that you must wait until you feel like you need to see a professional dentist to visit one. People often wait until they experience pain before setting an appointment with a dentist. Did you know that dental problems like gum disease and cavities don’t have symptoms of tooth pain until it’s too late?

You read it right. You can prevent the pain if you go sooner to the dentist and get regular dental check-ups. When you’re already experiencing pain, the damage may already be too extensive and costly.

You can visit a local dentist and schedule bi-annual check-ups, which is what most dentists recommend if you don’t have a family history of oral concerns. However, please speak with your dentist first and inquire how frequently they want you to visit.

On average, individuals in the US visit the dentist every six months. Most dental insurance also covers two visits a year, so these numbers make sense. If you have work on weekdays and can only book an appointment on the weekend, make sure to look for clinics that are open on Saturday or Sundays. By doing so, you’ll have the time to take care of your dental health.

Myth #2. You shouldn’t see a dentist when pregnant

Visiting the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings is important when during pregnancy. However, some people still think it’s unsafe.

You may also get your cavities filled before your due date. Ensure that you communicate with your dentist that you’re pregnant and if you’re experiencing any pregnancy-related symptoms in your oral health.

The hormones secreted during pregnancy can be associated with gum diseases like gingivitis. So, schedule a dental cleaning in addition to your other medical appointments before giving birth.

More oral health misconceptions: #3. Sugar is the top cause of cavities

The most common misconception about oral health is that sugar is the primary cause of tooth decay. There’s no denying that sugar has a significant role in cavities. However, the principal cause of tooth decay is bacteria.

The bacteria in your mouth feed on carbohydrates and sugars to produce acids. The acids these bacteria produce are strong enough to erode the enamel and cause cavities. You can prevent this by brushing your teeth after 30-60 minutes of eating sweets.

Myth #4. Using mouthwash after every meal is safe

When you use alcohol-based mouthwash after every meal, it can be pretty unsafe for your teeth. Alcohol is dehydrating by nature. As a result, it would destroy all the microorganisms in your mouth, even the good bacteria.

Using too much alcohol-based mouthwash can also cause mouth ulcers and destroy the fillings in your cavity. These products may put your oral health at risk and have been known to cause oral cancer in some people. So you should be more aware of what you put in your mouth and wait before using any mouthwash.

Oral health misconception #5. Flossing isn’t needed if you brush enough

Did you know brushing alone isn’t sufficient to maintain good oral hygiene? However, many folks still rely on their toothbrushes and call it a day. That’s not enough, though, as brushing and flossing accomplish separate and different tasks for your oral hygiene.

Toothbrushes aren’t enough to reach and clean the hard-to-reach places in your mouth, such as the spaces between the teeth. No matter how hard you brush, it’s insufficient to get the junk between the teeth.

On the other hand, flossing can help you remove the food particles and any debris that’s stuck in your teeth. Debris and food particles can cause bacteria and lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Myth #6. The harder you brush, the better

Here is yet another widespread misconception, and many people still believe it. When you brush your teeth too hard, though, you’re doing more harm than good.

You can damage your teeth by being too rough, leading to erosion of the enamel’s protective layer on the tooth surface. Brushing too hard can also affect your gums, causing them to bleed or sometimes recede.

With all this in mind, use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Avoid applying too much pressure too.

Final thoughts on misconceptions about oral health

As you can see, there are several false beliefs about oral health today. Despite the avid action of dentists to spread awareness, some people continue to brush their teeth too hard and don’t use dental floss. A simple misunderstanding may prevent you from getting the treatments and check-ups that you need to practice good dental hygiene and do harm to your teeth.

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