Is flossing really important? Does brushing your teeth harder provide a better clean? There are several dental myths circulating about at-home and in-office oral health care. We want our patients to learn how to care for their smiles and prevent permanent damage to their teeth and gums. Some oral health misconceptions can negatively affect patients’ oral health and lead to dental problems. Here we will debunk some of these dental health myths in our Bethesda, MD, office.
Dental Health Myths in Bethesda, MD
Some of the most common dental health myths and misconceptions include:
You Can Skip the Dental Floss
Some patients may think they can skip flossing and solely brush their teeth. However, flossing helps remove food debris and harmful bacteria between teeth. Brushing alone is insufficient to reduce the risk of future oral health problems like gum disease and cavities.
Choose the type of floss that can benefit your smile. If you have large gaps between your teeth, you can use wider dental tape. Traditional thin floss can reach between small spaces. Additionally, water picks can benefit you if you have dentures or dental bridges.
Brushing Harder Gets Your Teeth Cleaner
If you brush your teeth too hard, you may think that you’re getting a better clean. However, brushing your teeth harder will not get you any cleaner. It’s better to brush your teeth to avoid tooth damage and wear. Over time, you can wear down your tooth enamel, leading to tooth pain and sensitivity.
Take your time when brushing; you should brush for two minutes twice daily. Make sure you clean every side of each tooth and brush in circular motions.
You Don’t Need Regular Cleanings When Your Teeth Look Healthy
Dental cleanings and exams not only benefit patients with current oral health issues. Even if you do not have any visible oral health issues, we can find emerging dental problems using dental x-rays.
We take x-rays at regular dental appointments to find signs of dental problems that we can’t see visibly, including impacted and infected teeth. Catching oral health issues before they damage the smile helps maintain the appearance and health of the smile. Remember to make a dental appointment every six months.
Leave Your Gums Alone If They Bleed
If your gums bleed when you brush and floss your teeth, that can mean that you’re brushing too hard or you have gingivitis. As we have reviewed, you should brush your teeth and gums gently. If you do not floss AND brush your teeth, you should begin to floss before brushing your teeth. Flossing and brushing twice a day will eventually prevent regular gum bleeding. Routine oral health care can also stop gingivitis from progressing into gum disease.
Do you have any questions about caring for your smile at home or regular dental appointments? Call Bethesda Family Smiles at 301.500.2205 or schedule a dental visit on our website.