Dental Myths

Dental Hygiene Myths – What’s True and False?

The only way to get the best advice when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene and a healthy smile is from your dentist. You can find a lot of misinformation on the internet, so it’s very important to consult with your dentist if you have any concerns or would like some advice when it comes to looking after your oral health. We have put together a list of 5 common dental hygiene myths and why you should not follow them.

1. Make sure you wet the toothpaste before brushing your teeth
Toothpaste already contains water, so wetting it further could dilute it and therefore reduce its effectiveness for cleaning your teeth.

2. Flossing can create spaces between your teeth
Flossing does not create spaces between your teeth. In fact, flossing helps prevent decay between your teeth. When you floss, you’re removing food debris around your teeth and gums, which helps keep them healthy and removes harmful bacteria. When you begin a flossing routine you may experience bleeding gums, but after a few weeks of steady flossing you should notice the bleeding decrease. If your gums still bleed with flossing over time, the gum disease might be more severe and we recommend you schedule an appointment with Dr Michael McIntyre for a consultation.

Sometimes if you have plaque and tartar buildup in between and behind your teeth, it can be difficult to floss. We can help remove that buildup and make it easier for you to establish a successful flossing routine.

3. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing
Our teeth are like sponges, absorbing all of the helpful ingredients in toothpaste even after you’ve finished brushing. Just spit away any excess toothpaste and refrain from rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or even water.

4. Brush your teeth straight after eating
You should wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking before you brush your teeth. The pH level in your mouth changes when you eat and drink, making your mouth more acidic. Brushing straight away moves all that acid around your mouth, potentially causing more damage and increasing the risk of erosion.

5. Diet soft drinks are okay to drink because they don’t have sugar in them
Though diet soft drinks don’t have cavity-causing sugars in them, they still are highly acidic. Diet soft drinks have a pH level of about 2-3, while water is neutral at a pH level of 7 (for reference battery acid is very acidic at a pH level of 0). The acid in diet soft drinks eats away at enamel (the outer protective layer of our tooth surface) causing tooth sensitivity. Some people tend to slowly sip their soft drinks throughout the day, which is actually more hazardous. Every time you take a sip, the bacteria in your mouth begins to work with the acid and attack your enamel. It takes about 20 minutes for your mouth to neutralize that acid again and each time you sip that 20-minute attack starts over.

Besides soft drinks, other acidic beverages like orange juices, citrus juices, etc. can also cause similar damage. The healthiest alternatives to keep your body hydrated are water, vegetable juice, and milk.

Still have questions? Please feel free to call us on (03) 9817 3685, our experienced team at Kew Dental would be glad to help.