Brushing twice a day, flossing and semi-annual dentist visits are just some of the basics of oral health. However, for every one fact, two myths come out. Which ones are true and which ones are not?
Myth #1: More sugar = more tooth decay
Lie: It’s not exactly the amount of sugar intake that is directly linked to tooth decay but rather, it’s the length of time that sugar is in contact with the teeth. Therefore, it is slow-dissolving sugary foods such as candies and soft drinks that are in contact with teeth for longer periods of time that really cause tooth decay. When sugar touches the tooth, oral bacteria gets excited, and it is the acid produced by these bacteria that damages the enamel.
Truth: According to research, 40% of the carbohydrate intake in teenagers comes from soft drinks. The frequent and constant consumption prolongs the exposure of the tooth to sugar, therefore increasing the risk of damage. While sugar-free drinks may be considered safer than its sugar-filled counterparts, lemonade, for instance, may still contribute to the breakdown of the enamel if taken regularly.
Myth #2: Dental visits should be made every six months
Lie: It’s not a black or white thing; it all depends on the individual’s oral health. At the minimum, it should be every six months, but more frequent visits may be necessary for those who suffer from tooth ache or gum problems. Furthermore, tooth problems can develop within 6 months from your last visit and ignoring them and postponing the attention until the next dental visit may spell more problems than what was there to begin with.
Truth: It is always best to consult and decide with the dentist to see how often the checkups should be, to ensure optimal oral health all year long.
Myth #3: Always brush teeth after eating
Lie: On the contrary, it is rather advisable to brush the teeth before a meal and not after. Consumption of acidic food and drinks such as citrus fruits, soda and juices temporarily softens the tooth enamel upon contact. Brushing immediately after the meal may further erode the already softened enamel, which can lead to weaker teeth and possibly development of cavities.
Truth: Brushing before meals is more recommended because the enamel is not yet softened. After eating brushing may also be done, as long as it is at least one hour after the meal.
Myth # 4: Better oral health prevents heart diseases
Lie: For the longest time, the notion is that poor oral health leads to cardiovascular problems. However, studies have often failed in finding a link between the two; only quoting that those with heart concerns may or may not have good oral health. There is only the existence of the two conditions, but no direct link where it can be proven that one causes the other.
Truth: Of course, it is still advisable to maintain good oral health, regardless if it leads to heart diseases or not. Neglecting your mouth may lead to other types of diseases which may just be as bad.
To ensure your oral health is well taken care of, contact the Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment.