Even the smartest, most fastidious patients can believe some of these common dental hygiene myths. Here are six myths about oral health and the real truth about them.
Dental Hygiene Myth #1: Gum Disease Won’t Happen to Me.
Nearly every person in our modern society tends to experience some form of mild gum disease in their life. Gum disease can be due to a number of causes that might not be related to oral hygiene habits. For example, we have many patients who practice near-perfect oral hygiene, but have mild gum disease during pregnancy or while taking some antibiotics. The important thing with gum disease treatment is to recognize them early. Mild gum disease like gingivitis can be treated and corrected in a matter of few days & might happen with just a single appointment treatment. The regular dental check up appointments with the dentist can help diagnose gum diseases in their early stages.
Dental Hygiene Myth #2: Brushing Harder is Better and Will Make My Teeth Cleaner.
Brushing too hard can cause irreversible damage by wearing out your teeth. If this continues it might have an impact on overall oral health too. In fact, the patients who are overzealous brushers and flossers damage their gums, which will recede and cause sensitivity of teeth as a result of brushing too hard.
When it comes to proper brushing, technique is always more important than pressure. Hold the brush at tooth-gum junction at 450. Use light pressure and small circles as you move from quadrant to quadrant in your mouth. Never “scrub” hard back and forth over your teeth.
- A practical & useful hint to reduce pressure while brushing teeth is to hold the tooth brush in a pen grasp. This grasp does not allow you to apply excessive pressure & protects your teeth & gums.
- Another practical tip is to use a good quality soft or super soft tooth brush which has bristles that does not hurt or damage the gums & teeth.
- A great tip is to use Sonic and electric toothbrushes that can be a great solution if you think you’re brushing too hard. The toothbrush itself will do a majority of the work, and it’s almost impossible to use pressure that’s too hard with these types of brushes. Thus protecting your teeth & gums.
- When the teeth are sensitive or abraded – Do not use abrasive toothpastes, which can further wear away your teeth & gum surfaces
Dental Myth #3: If my gums bleed when I floss, I should let them “rest” or leave them alone.
Did you know that bleeding gums is one of the earliest signs of gum disease or gum irritation, and the solution to stop bleeding of gums is to keep them as clean as possible? Blood is a sign that the gums are irritated and that bacteria in the plaque are flourishing at or below the gum line. It also might be an indication that food is getting stuck between the teeth and causing irritation. If your gums are painful or having swelling or bleeding, it is showing that it is not healthy & this problem is most commonly due to the soft or hard deposits at or below gums. This is when you should brush and floss the area correctly & if the gum problem is only due to soft deposits the whole problem gets corrected soon. You might also want to rinse with a mild salt water solution, which can help act as a disinfectant. If your gums don’t stop bleeding after a few days and still remain sore and puffy, even with gentle brushing and flossing, see your dentist as the problem might be due to accumulation of hard deposits or some other pathology.