Dental Health Misconceptions: Fact or Fiction?

man brushing his teeth in front of a mirror

It’s no secret that one of the most important parts of your overall health is your mouth. However, what you may not know are some common misconceptions about dental health that many people believe to be true.

In this article, we explore some of the most common dental health misconceptions so you can have a clear understanding of what is true and what is not when it comes to cavities, gum disease, and your overall dental health.

Cavities are caused by sugar

One of the most common dental health misconceptions is that cavities are caused by sugar. While sugar can certainly contribute to tooth decay, it is not the only cause. Poor oral hygiene, plaque buildup, and bacteria are also major contributors to cavities. In fact, many people develop cavities even if they brush and floss regularly and watch their sugar intake.

This is why it’s so important to visit a dental clinic for regular checkups and cleanings, as they can detect early signs of cavities and treat them before they become a bigger problem.

Gum disease is contagious

Another common misconception about dental health is that gum disease is contagious. This is not true. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth, and it can be treated with a combination of good oral hygiene habits and professional treatment from a dentist or dental hygienist.

Don’t worry if you’re afraid that someone with gum disease could infect you. The saliva of a person with good oral hygiene that hasn’t been treated for gum disease is not contagious, so it’s completely safe to kiss, share utensils, and even swap spit in the pool!

Chewing sugar-free gum is a good way to prevent cavities

While chewing sugar-free gum is definitely better than chewing regular gum or no gum at all, it’s not the best way to prevent cavities. The best way to avoid cavities is to practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing regularly and seeing a dentist for checkups.

Chewing sugar-free gum can help you practice good oral hygiene by encouraging you to brush and floss regularly since it causes your mouth to produce extra saliva, which washes away cavity-causing bacteria. It also helps clean the surface of your teeth because it forces you to be more thorough when brushing.

While chewing sugar-free gum is definitely beneficial, it’s not a substitute for brushing and flossing regularly.

Brushing your teeth too much can wear them down

A popular misconception about dental health is that brushing your teeth too much can wear them down. This is not true. In fact, brushing your teeth regularly is one of the best ways to keep them healthy and strong. Additionally, it’s also impossible to brush your teeth too much.

While you may damage the enamel on your teeth if you use an abrasive toothbrush or scrub too hard, brushing too often will not make a difference in the strength of your teeth.

The only time you need to be careful about how much you brush your teeth is if you have a history of receding gums, which can be caused by brushing too aggressively and too often. If you have a history of receding gums, talk to your dentist about how much you should brush so that you don’t damage them.

Flossing between teeth with braces will make the braces come off sooner

If you have braces and the idea of flossing between your teeth makes you cringe, we’re here to tell you that worrying about flossing with them on is a common dental health misconception. Braces are designed to shift your teeth into place to be properly aligned, and flossing regularly will not undo this.

In fact, if you don’t floss regularly with braces, you’re more likely to get cavities and gum disease. This is because food and plaque can get stuck in the spaces between your teeth, where brushing can’t reach.

Flossing is a necessary part of oral hygiene, whether you have braces or not, and it’s important to be as thorough as possible when you floss. If it’s difficult to floss between your teeth with braces on, invest in a water flosser or use dental floss that’s specifically designed for people with braces.

Toothpaste should be used in a circular motion, not back and forth across the toothbrush bristles
family in white brushing their teeth together

Another common dental health misconception is that toothpaste should be used in a circular motion, not back and forth across the toothbrush bristles. While it’s true that you should generally use a circular motion when brushing your teeth, this is not the case when it comes to toothpaste.

When you brush your teeth with toothpaste, you should use a back and forth motion across the bristles to get the most coverage. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, you should avoid using toothpaste.

Dental health misconceptions are common. In this article, we explore some of the most popular dental health misconceptions so you can have a clear understanding of what is true and what not when it comes to cavities, gum disease, and your overall dental health.

Whether you’re brushing twice a day or only once every other week, these tips will help keep your teeth healthy for years to come.

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