Your teeth are incredibly strong – in fact, tooth enamel is actually stronger than steel! Whilst this may be the case, one thing teeth don’t possess is the ability to repair and regenerate, which is why it’s so important to look after them every single day.
Being aware of common dental myths will also help you to avoid complications with your pearly whites in the future, and today we’re going to bust some of these.
#1 ‘The harder I brush, the cleaner my teeth will get’
It’s easy to see why you might think this is the case, after all when you use a sponge aggressively on dishes or you mop the floor vigorously, it usually results in better cleanliness. Unfortunately, the opposite is true when it comes to your teeth, and you will do them more harm than good.
Brushing too hard can wear down your tooth enamel (the protective coating on your teeth which shields against decay and cavities), and erode your gums to reveal vulnerable areas of dentin. If you need advice on how to brush more efficiently, your dentist can demonstrate this to you during a routine appointment.
#2 ‘I only need to go to the dentist if my teeth hurt’
Protecting your teeth from damage in the future involves adopting a preventative approach, which means never missing a routine appointment. If your teeth have reached a stage where you’re experiencing regular pain, you could be suffering from a cavity or decay that needs addressing urgently.
What’s more, some cavities don’t manifest any pain and you may not be able to spot them in the mirror at home. Even if your teeth feel like they’re in perfect health, a dentist should be taking a look at them every 6 months, so any potential problems are spotted and treated straight away. You could be saving yourself an extraction and thousands of pounds of treatment in the future!
#3 ‘If I go to the dentist, I don’t need to see the hygienist’
Did you know? A third of people in Britain admit to never having visited the hygienist. Not only does failing to visit the hygienist regularly result in unpleasant breath, it paves a path to developing gum disease.
Hygienists are gum experts and perform a routine treatment called a scale and polish, which works to remove plaque and tartar that gathers over your teeth overtime, whether you’re a grade-A brusher or not. Bacteria in the mouth affects everyone and having a professional clean will ensure you don’t develop an amount of plaque and tartar that will jeopardise your gum health.
#4 ‘Oral health doesn’t affect my general health’
This is perhaps the most important myth we’re busting here. In recent years, unquestionable research has emerged that poor oral health is linked to issues like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Because plaque can enter the bloodstream, this can narrow the arteries and cause catastrophic problems with your general health. There is also ongoing research into a possible link between poor oral health and dementia.
I only found out a few weeks ago, that oral health is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke! I find that so crazy. I am hoping to see a hygienist soon to remove some of the plaque buildup in my lower teeth
I have always been under the impression that the more aggressively you clean helps with cavities. This got proven wrong when my teeth started feeling a bit sensitive and my gums will swell from time to time. My dentist was the one to tell me that I needed to change how I brush my teeth and I have never looked back.