There is an endless amount of dental myths out there, everyone seems to have a little ‘trick’ or ‘fact’ about oral health that they’ve picked up along the way. Unfortunately many of these aren’t quite true and in turn can prevent us from getting the proper dental care we need. So lets extract some of those myths and get down to the root of what is true and what is false.
This is a big fat lie. Flossing is an incredibly important step in maintaining good oral health and ideally it should be done at least once a day. Think about it, your toothbrush cleans the front and back of the teeth but what about the sides? Those little gaps between the teeth and gums, no toothbrush can fit in there. By not flossing you are missing out on cleaning almost 33% of the tooth surface and in turn leaving behind a lot of plaque and bacteria. The bacteria that is left in between the teeth and gums over time can cause bad breath, gum disease, decay and pain.
There is no denying that sugar is bad for your teeth, but it isn’t the only reason a tooth may decay. In fact it is the bacteria in your mouth that causes the decay, sugar just merely feeds the bacteria and helps it survive/thrive. Even someone who doesn’t have sugar in their diet can get tooth decay as a result of bad oral hygiene. This really ties back to myth #1 and the importance in flossing, with proper oral hygiene we are able to clear out a lot of the bacteria in our mouths that cause these issues.
While teeth should definitely be on the whiter side, white teeth doesn’t necessarily mean healthy teeth. As we’ve said, it’s all about the bacteria hiding in the mouth. Without proper oral hygiene (this means brushing and flossing everyday, along with 6 monthly check-ups with the oral hygienist), then a person is leaving their mouth open to harmful bacteria. Just because somebody has glowing white teeth it doesn’t mean they are free from infection or cavities. It is also important to realise that the natural colour of teeth vary from person to person.
Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation as a result of plaque build up, it can also lead to gum disease and bigger problems down the line. Often when somebody has a bleeding gum they will totally back off from their brushing because they think it is the cause of the bleeding, when actually this is doing more harm than good. To avoid bleeding gums, or if you do get a little, it is important to continue brushing and flossing your teeth to clear away any plaque build up. Make sure you are using an extra soft toothbrush and moving in gentle circular motions across the teeth and gums. If your gums continue to bleed then it is a sign of disease and it is very important you seek professional care so it can be treated and brought under control.