We’ve all heard crazy stories about teeth, like George Washington and his “wooden dentures” or the story that a tooth will completely dissolve if left in Coca-Cola overnight. While the stories seem cool, they are in fact a complete myth. While some of these stories are just good fun, some myths can actually have an impact on a patient’s dental health, leading them to neglect their oral health. Here are three myths you should definitely be aware of:
1. You should brush your teeth immediately after each meal.
We’ve all learned from an early age how important brushing can be for your dental health. Unfortunately, some patients think they need to brush immediately after a meal. Saliva found in your mouth is used to offset the acid in the food you consume which can soften the enamel. Brushing immediately after eating can actually be more damaging to your teeth; you should wait at least 30 minutes. Foods or beverages that are extremely acidic can be worse than other foods.
2. There is no reason to see a dentist if your teeth look and feel healthy.
Most patients think a bright, white smile means it is healthy and they have no reason to see a dentist. This can lead to more invasive and costly dental treatments down the road. Dentists are trained to spot and treat problems before they occur. Certain conditions such as cavities, decay, and even gum disease can have very little symptoms most patients will recognize, delaying treatment that could be occurring if a trained professional examined your teeth regularly.
3. If you use an electric toothbrush, you don’t need to floss.
Many electronic toothbrushes have claimed that they reach between teeth, cleaning those hard to reach areas. However, any toothbrush is designed to clean tooth surfaces, not act as floss. Plaque can build between teeth and below the gum line, becoming extremely hard to reach. The only proper way to remove this plaque buildup is with dental floss.