You’ve heard it before — don’t believe everything you read online. From trendy oral care to age-old myths, there’s an array of misinformation surrounding oral hygiene constantly circling the internet. Instead, let’s focus on the dental facts that matter and debunk the common myths and misconceptions in modern dentistry. 

Common Myths About Hygiene

Some people think these habits can help their teeth, but in actuality, these practices can be very harmful to your oral health. 

  • Brushing harder is better: According to the American Dental Association, brushing too hard can actually damage your teeth. When you brush too hard, you increase your chances of enamel wear and receding gums. This may lead to tooth sensitivity and other tooth decay problems down the line. Brush smarter, not harder.
  • Dentist visits are for emergencies: A lot of people assume if their teeth are white and not bothering them, they don’t need to see a dentist. The longer you hold off a visit to the dentist, the more likely you are to run into oral health complications. There are certain things your dentist can do for you that you can’t do at home. For example, your dentist can perform a deep cleaning to scrub off tartar. Preventative care, which includes regular visits to the dentist, is one of the best ways to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. 
  • Flossing after certain foods: Some people think they only need to floss after eating foods like popcorn or apples, but that is incorrect. No matter what you eat, food particles can get trapped in your teeth and gums. The best way to remove this is by flossing. Flossing helps remove plaque and tartar and makes your teeth look bright and clean. Without flossing, your chances of cavities and gum disease seriously increase.
  • Oral health does not affect the rest of your body: If you think your oral health is independent of the rest of your body, think again. Poor oral health has a direct link to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Good oral hygiene not only saves your smile, but it saves the rest of your body, too. 

Dental Facts: Harmful Substances

  • Diet drinks are okay to consume: While diet soda may not have the cavity-causing sugars that regular soda has, it’s still incredibly acidic which, as stated before, can seriously damage your enamel. Once your enamel weakens, you’re subject to tooth sensitivity, receding gums, and cavities. Try to find a less acidic beverage to curb your cravings.
  • Lemon Juice Treatment: In the last few years, countless blogs have written about using lemon juice as a “natural” teeth whitening treatment. Of course, consuming lemons in moderation is perfectly fine, but the acidity found in lemons is way too high to be using it as a habitual treatment. The high acidity can erode tooth enamel and cause an increase in tooth sensitivity and decay. If you want to whiten your teeth, don’t try lemon juice. 
  • Charcoal Toothpaste: Despite the powerful trend, charcoal toothpaste is severely lacking any evidence of increased health benefits. Not only that, but dentists are beginning to question if charcoal toothpaste is too abrasive for our teeth. There are no scientific reports of increased antibacterial or antifungal properties. If you’re thinking about hopping on the charcoal trend, it’s better to just stick to your regular ADA approved toothpaste.

At Dental Partners of Fifth Avenue, we care about dental facts. Beware of what you read on the internet. Ask your dentist before you try something new to ensure you’re practicing good oral hygiene.