The internet spreads rumour and myth faster than fact. All those ‘quick fixes’ and ‘surprising dental secrets’ can end up taking their toll on your dental health.
To help you steer clear of these misconceptions, we’re covering the main myths we see come up again and again.
Myth: You only need to brush your teeth once a day.
Fact: We always recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Typically, we recommend brushing once in the morning (after breakfast) and once before heading to bed. This helps you remove plaque and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Tip: Brushing twice a day should be your baseline. When possible, we recommend brushing after every meal.
Myth: You should brush your teeth immediately after a meal.
Fact: It may seem surprising, but brushing your teeth immediately after a meal can actually do more harm than good. As dentists, we recommend brushing your teeth after every meal. The problem comes when you eat or drink something acidic. This softens the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to damage – that includes damage from your toothbrush.
Tip: Wait thirty minutes after you eat to brush your teeth. This gives your mouth time to neutralize and wash away the acid so your teeth are hard again.
Myth: Whitening toothpastes lighten the natural colour of teeth.
Fact: While whitening toothpastes do work, they don’t lighten the natural colour of your teeth. They simply remove surface stains caused by things like coffee, tea, and tobaccousing mild abrasives and chemicals.
Tip: If you want to lighten your teeth to a shade brighter than you were born with, talk to your dentist about what will work best for you.
Myth: You should floss after brushing your teeth
Fact: When you floss, you remove plaque and tartar from between your teeth, which is good. However, your floss doesn’t necessarily remove it from your mouth. Often, it will pull it out of the gaps between your teeth and move it to the face of your tooth. So, if you floss after brushing, that plaque isn’t removed; it’s just moved. But, when you floss first, your brush will then remove that plaque and tartar.
Tip: Get into a habit of flossing before brushing your teeth.
Myth: If you don’t have any pain or issues, you don’t need to visit a dentist.
Fact: Many dental problems, such as gum disease and cavities, are completely symptom-free until well into their advanced stages. Regular check-ups and cleanings can help catch and treat these issues before they become more serious.
Tip: Schedule regular checkups with your dentist. Typically, we recommend seeing a dentist every six months to make sure you stay on top of your dental health.