Toothbrushing is a simple, essential task to ensure that you can smile with confidence. Brushing is necessary to clean away food particles and plaque to prevent cavities and any unnecessary gum or tooth diseases. However, still several toothbrushing myths exist that need to be cleared.
Here are the real answers to 5 common myths:
This is one of the biggest toothbrushing myths. People believe brushing twice a day is more than sufficient to maintain a healthy set of teeth and gums. That is not true!
Flossing is essential because your toothbrush cannot reach certain areas in between the teeth where all the germs and plaque accumulate. So flossing helps clean these areas. It’s never too late to start flossing. You’ll be surprised how much your toothbrush leaves behind.
The American Dental Association recommends that we brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing after each meal is also acceptable. But brushing more than three times a day or brushing too hard counts as excessive. At night, after having three meals and snacks, brushing is important to remove residual food material and bacteria accumulated throughout the day. Overnight, germs and bacteria can accumulate in your mouth with the lack of saliva that’s produced at night, so it’s important that you brush every morning.
Scrubbing your teeth too hard can actually etch your enamel and leave it more susceptible to tooth decay. Brushing too hard can also damage gums and cause them to pull down from your teeth, eventually exposing more of your tooth root into your mouth. If your toothbrush bristles are spread out or “splayed” and you’ve been using it for less than three months, that’s a sign that you’re brushing too hard.
Many people believe that if they eat sugar and brush right after, they will be protected from cavities. That is not entirely true. In fact brushing right after eating sweets can actually damage your enamel. Sugar from candies, popsicles, starches, and other foods and drinks acts like acid on your teeth etching and causing the minerals in your enamel to spread apart in a process called demineralization.
If you brush your teeth while they are still demineralized, you could actually damage your enamel. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to give your enamel a chance to remineralize. The best way to do this is to drink water, chew a piece of sugar-free gum, or rinse with a non-acidic, non-alcoholic, fluoride-based rinse.
You might also have several other toothbrushing myths that can be brushed by speaking to an expert. Help is here in the form of Dr. Talib Salim Ali of Avatar Dental Care. He can be reached at (571) 577-9961. So book your consultation now if you are in the Leesburg, VA area.