Moms always do their best to keep their kids healthy and safe. However, as with many traditions, sometimes our long-held beliefs aren't always correct. This is sometimes the case with dental hygiene. Today we know that some of the things your mom might have taught you about caring for your teeth were not completely accurate.
Because oral health is closely tied to overall health, it’s important to separate truth from myth. Below are some of the most popular misconceptions about oral health and the truth.
The harder you brush the better
You can almost see it in the mind's eye: the kid with his shirt off, lathering toothpaste on his toothbrush, proceeding to vigorously brush his teeth in a side-to-side motion, spraying flecks of toothpaste on the mirror, all to announce his completed task a mere 30 seconds later.
Brushing harder and faster is not the way to brush your teeth. Everyday Health explains that brushing too hard or with too abrasive of a toothbrush (medium or firm) can harm your teeth by eroding some of the hard enamel that protects the inside of the tooth from cavities and decay. Brushing in a slow, circular motion, with gentle pressure and a soft-bristled toothbrush is best.
You need to immediately brush after eating
Brushing your teeth after every meal is a good idea, but make sure you wait about 30 minutes, says Humana. Saliva is the best way to immediately offset the acids in the food that you eat so waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow your saliva to work its magic. This is especially important after eating or drinking things like orange juice, lemonade and eating other fruits or vegetables.
Dental implants are too costly
While the thought of replacing teeth can be overwhelming, dental implants are a trusted and effective solution to many issues of the mouth. For many, the biggest obstacle is the cost. WebMD reports the higher expense is offset by better oral health, improved self esteem, easier eating and convenience. What's more, with proper care, implants should last a lifetime.
Stubbs Dental, a leader in dental implants in Utah, states "Dental implants are the right choice for a variety of scenarios. A common reason is missing teeth. Accidents in athletics, slips, falls and gum disease can lead to teeth falling out. Age is another common cause of tooth loss. Dental implants are a way to get back the functionality you need in your mouth to eat and talk normally...Dental implants offer many benefits, and are excellent because they best mimic natural teeth. People can truly get their mouths back after tooth loss."
While implants are not something one plans on, they should be considered a practical, affordable option for patients that might find them necessary.
You should rinse your mouth out after brushing
Growing up, it seemed everyone had those little paper cups set aside the sink for rinsing after you brush. In an article by Berkeley Wellness, it is suggested that not rinsing after brushing is best. This is because fluoride, the enamel protecting ingredient in your toothpaste, if rinsed off immediately after brushing is hardly given the chance to protect and do its work on your enamel.
If you find this habit hard to break, Berkeley Wellness suggests trying to rinse with "toothpaste slurry," meaning sipping only about 1 teaspoon of water with the toothpaste still in your mouth, briskly and briefly swishing, then spitting out with no other rinsing.
Tooth decay is mainly caused by sugar
Love carbs? You might want to think twice about chowing down on that pasta and not brushing shortly afterward. Colgate stresses that while sugar certainly plays a destructive role in tooth decay, it isn't the main perpetrator. Tooth decay and plaque buildup are caused by acids from naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth combining with saliva — with this most aggressively happening during consumption of carbohydrates.
If you find yourself concerned with your oral health or might be considering implants as a solution, make Stubbs Dental your first point of contact.