When it comes to your smile, it’s essential that you make sure you’re in possession of the facts surrounding how to keep it in great shape. We’ve all fallen foul to the odd myth here and there, which is why today we’re debunking some of the common bad dental habit myths that tend to do the rounds. Read on to learn about some of the less well-known untruths that could otherwise have the potential to compromise your oral health.
#1 ‘Diet fizzy drinks are OK as they’re sugar-free’
The majority of people (and it’s a legitimate assumption to make) believe that sugar is the main culprit in carbonated drinks, and that diet versions will not be as harmful to their teeth. However, as these drinks still contain high levels of acid, your tooth enamel is still prone to cavities, so it’s not a good idea to start using these as a substitute to the full fat version.
Swap your diet soda for drinks with lower acidity, such as tea, water, coffee and certain fruit juices (just be sure to check the RDA first).
#2 ‘There’s never a bad time to brush your teeth’
It might feel right to brush your teeth right after having something high sugar to eat or drink – after all, we brush to keep our teeth clean, right? Wrong! Right after consuming sugar and/or acid laden food and drink, your teeth are in a vulnerable state. Dentist recommend waiting a minimum of 30 minutes before brushing, to make sure your saliva neutralises the acids in your mouth before you brush. Failing to do so can result in the layer under the enamel coating on your teeth (dentin) to become weakened and prone to cavities.
#3 ‘Don’t brush or floss bleeding gums’
It can be alarming to see blood when you’re brushing and flossing, but it is common. This said, it’s still a reason to book a check-up, to address the source of the bleeding which is likely to be gum disease. In the meantime, you should not refrain from brushing your teeth, as milder gum disease (gingivitis) will rapidly descent into periodontitis (advanced gum disease). Failing to brush will irritate your gums further, as plaque will be allowed to multiply. 1 in 5 Brits immediately stop brushing the bleeding area, and 8% stop brushing altogether. These worrying statistics demonstrate why gum disease is the number one reason for tooth loss in adults. Remember to continue brushing and flossing gently and most importantly, see your dentist.
#4 ‘Brushing hard will protect my teeth’
Brushing your teeth vigorously might feel like the right thing to do, in a bid to remove any staining. This is a habit that’s actually harmful for your teeth, as it can lead to abrasion AKA the loss of tooth enamel. Without tooth enamel, your teeth are open to decay and sensitivity that can cause day-to-day pain.
Gum recession can also occur through brushing too hard, exposing parts of your teeth that aren’t protected with enamel. This can result in decay, sensitivity and even tooth loss in severe cases. We can perform rooting and scaling to treat gum recession and fillings can be used to protect a tooth from further abrasion. Your dentist here in Norwich can also show you how to adopt good brushing technique that will clean your teeth efficiently.
#5 ‘I’ve got a white smile, so I don’t need to go to the dentist’
White teeth are often thought to be synonymous with health, and though they are aesthetically pleasing, they don’t necessarily signify that there’s nothing bad going on. Even if you have white teeth, you may have evidence of gum disease which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Cavities can also occur in white teeth and require a filling. The best way to make sure your teeth stay free of any problems, (especially those that you might not be able to spot) is to attend the hygienist and dentist here in Norwich. X-rays can be taken to make sure your jawbone is in good health and able to support your teeth, and we can perform mouth cancer screenings to catch any problems early and give you the best chance of a full recovery. Early detection is extremely important for this, so if you have been neglecting your oral health or been drinking and smoking more than usual during lockdown, make an appointment with us as soon as possible.
If you’re due to come in for your routine dentist or hygienist appointment with us here at Corner House Dental in Norwich, please get in touch with us to book yourself in. If you’re a new patient, why not take a look at our video testimonials so you can get a feel for the practice environment, and hear patients’ past experiences at the practice. We look forward to welcoming you to the dentist here in Norwich!