In the digital age, discerning the difference between sound medical advice and myths is challenging. You see information on Facebook or in Buzzfeed articles, but how can you sort the truth from the falsehoods?
Today, we’re tackling 3 very common dental myths. We’ll help you separate fact from fiction!
Dental Myth #1: Activated charcoal is a great tool for teeth whitening.
This is false. Abrasives like charcoal or baking soda don’t “scrub” your teeth. Instead, they actually damage your teeth, making matters worse. When you use abrasives on your teeth, you don’t just scratch the enamel, leaving it more susceptible to staining. You may actually wear away your enamel, exposing the softer, yellowish tissue called dentin.
FACT: Use an ADA accepted whitening toothpaste or talk to your dentist about safe whitening options.
Rather than risk your enamel, choose a whitening toothpaste that carries the ADA seal of acceptance. This ensures your toothpaste is a safe, effective choice. If you aren’t satisfied with the level of whitening after you use over-the-counter measures, consult your dentist regarding in-office options.
Dental Myth #2: Flossing isn’t necessary, especially if you use an electric toothbrush.
This is also false. Brushing, even with an electric toothbrush, isn’t enough to remove food debris stuck between your teeth and gums. Failing to floss regularly results in plaque buildup. Eventually, you’ll notice decay near the gumline and on the surfaces between the teeth where debris collects.
FACT: Floss at least once a day.
Flossing (your teeth, not the dance) is an important part of your daily dental hygiene routine. Flossing once a day may prevent gum disease and cavities. Keep in mind that flossing shouldn’t hurt, scraping too forcefully can damage your gums. Once you are in a regular routine of flossing, you’ll get faster, more efficient, and aware of how much pressure to use. If pain and bleeding persist, consult your dentist.
Dental Myth #3: Harder bristles on a toothbrush mean better cleaning power.
If you guessed this is false, you’re right! Scrubbing away all the plaque, food, and bacteria with a stiff-bristled brush seems like a good idea. After all, stiffer bristles feel more efficient! However, this is not the case. Hard bristle brushes scratch and irritate gums, contribute to enamel wear, and trick you into thinking you are finished brushing with a few quick swipes.
FACT: Soft bristles and good technique are best for a healthy mouth.
Coupling a softer bristled brush with good brushing technique is a much better choice. Brush thoroughly, spending about 2 minutes covering all the bases, and you won’t miss your hard-bristled brush! Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush about every 3 months, or sooner if the bristles appear frayed.
One more FACT: Visiting your dentist for routine checkups every 6 months can help prevent cavities, keep teeth whiter, and benefit your overall health. Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Jackson today.