Many of us have grown up following a dental routine or employing certain habits to protect our smiles. While being aware of the importance of looking after your mouth is undoubtedly positive, dentists are concerned that some people have been misled by popular dental myths.
In a bid to encourage patients to take good care of their smiles, the British Dental Association has provided advice to bust these myths and ensure people have access to accurate information about oral hygiene.
Surveys suggest that some people think it’s fine to brush just once a day, but dental professionals recommend twice-daily brushing. Brushing once in a 24-hour period is not sufficient to remove bacteria and food debris, and this elevates the risk of plaque formation. Plaque is a sticky film, which envelopes the enamel and clings to the gums, and it puts you at risk of decay and gum disease.
The next myth is that you don’t need to floss. While flossing is not essential, it is important to clean between the teeth, and flossing is one method of doing this. The alternative is to use interdental brushes. Brushing between the teeth reduces the risk of decay and staining, as it targets the areas that are missed with a traditional toothbrush.
Mouthwash is a popular oral hygiene product, but some dentists are worried that patients think of it as an alternative to toothpaste. Mouthwash should only ever be used in tandem with brushing, rather than instead of cleaning your teeth. It’s also best to wait a while after cleaning your teeth to use mouthwash so that you don’t wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste. The same guidelines apply to rinsing after brushing. Many people automatically rinse straight after cleaning, but actually, this is not beneficial for your oral health. Leaving fluoride on the teeth will help to make the enamel stronger.