Sometimes, the best way to learn something is to bust the myths about it. When it comes to dentistry, all kinds of myths are circulated that can actually be quite harmful for people’s health if they come to believe them.
That’s why we’ve compiled three of the most common dental myths and busted them! Read on to see what they are and why it’s so important to know the truth.
Myth 1: Sugar Causes Cavities
Wait, what? Sugar causing cavities is a myth? Hold on, don’t go grab a pile of candy bars just yet.
I know, you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about, because all dentists go on and on about how bad sugar is for your teeth! I just want to make sure people understand that sugar itself doesn’t really hurt your teeth—the danger lies in the bacteria that are attracted to sugar.
If you ate a pile of sticky, sugary candy and immediately rinsed out your mouth and brushed your teeth afterward, that quantity of sugar would be better for you than having just one piece of candy with no rinsing or brushing until hours later! It’s because the sugar stays behind and has ample time to attract harmful bacteria, which do the dirty work.
Myth 2: Fluoride Is Dangerous
It baffles me why so many people are under the impression that fluoride is dangerous. The reality is, you have a little layer on the surface of your teeth that protects them from harm, including bacteria and chewing. When you consume foods with sugar or acid in them, it breaks down this layer and leaves the teeth vulnerable to bacteria or acid, damaging the tooth structure itself.
The mineral fluoride forms a bond with the structure of the tooth to form an extra shield against these threats. The results are clear on an individual basis, but fluoride has shown success on a widespread scale too.
One statistic states that fluoridated drinking water in a community can lower the rate of tooth decay by 50 to 70 percent! Just don’t ingest too much fluoride at once. If you can manage to avoid drinking five thousand to ten thousand glasses of fluoridated water in one sitting, you’ll be okay.
Myth 3: Brushing Harder Gets Better Results
Many people just aren’t sure what to do when it comes to proper brushing technique. If they see plaque or stains on their teeth, they think that brushing harder will help.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. You can actually wear down the enamel of your teeth by brushing too aggressively. Instead, the proper technique uses gentle, circular strokes for at least two minutes each time you brush. You’ll get rid of plaque without hurting your teeth in the process.
Another important habit is to brush and floss regularly. Then there will be less temptation to try to fix discoloration or accumulation of plaque with a lot of hard brushing.
I hope these tips helped! You can always ask us at our Boise dental practice, Modern Dental, if you have further questions. We’ll see you soon!