There is a myriad of tips on oral hygiene available online, but not all of them are meant to be taken seriously. Some of them offer misleading facts about proper oral hygiene. It’s about time to separate facts from fiction. While good habits in your daily dental routine are simple and not at all time-consuming, the wrong practices are highly likely to cause extensive damage to your teeth and put your overall health at major risk.

The following are the most common oral care myths that are all over the Internet but debunked by dental professionals.

1)  Sugar is the sole culprit for cavities and the source of all evil. Growing up, you might have associated candy with cavities, but the sugar itself doesn’t destroy your teeth. Besides sugar, the consumption of carbohydrates also plays a role in that. The bacteria living in the oral cavity feed off the residual sugar and carbohydrates that stick on the surface of teeth and tongue and then cause tooth decay and other dental diseases. 

2)    Brushing hard and fast is the only way to clean your teeth effectively. That’s actually false and it can cause a lot more damage than you think! Brushing hard even with a soft-bristled toothbrush will put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your gums. This will undoubtedly lead to gum bleeding and even gingival recession, meaning the exposure of the roots and bone. Dentists recommend gentle and short strokes for 2-3 minutes.

3)  Flossing is not a necessary part of your daily routine. That is not true and something you should incorporate in your oral hygiene. Flossing ensures the removal of food residue between the teeth, where a toothbrush may not always be 100% effective. 

4)    Chewing gum can replace tooth brushing when you’re in a time crunch. Although sugar-free chewing gum can remove some bacteria on the surface of the teeth, it is just a short-term and easy solution. However, nothing can replace brushing and flossing.

5)    Kids don’t have to brush their baby teeth because they’ll fall out, anyway. Dental practitioners highlight the importance of a dental care routine very early in a kid’s life. Daily gum cleaning and brushing baby teeth can relieve teething pain and encourage the teeth to erupt.

6) Gum bleeding only affects your mouth. Gum bleeding is something to be taken seriously and treated as soon as possible. It indicates an infection in your mouth but it can quickly cause problems to your heart, lungs and even brain!

7) You can skip the visit to the dentist if your teeth look white. The typical recommendation for dental appointments is twice a year for a reason. No matter how good your oral hygiene is, you need frequent professional teeth cleanings to prevent plaque buildup or cavity formation. The white color only refers to the enamel and doesn’t exclude the chance of tooth decay, inflammation, and any other types of oral health issues.

8) Everyone has to remove their wisdom teeth. Not true, if the wisdom teeth are healthy and fully erupted, correctly aligned, and the bite is accordingly positioned. Their removal is advised when necessary to avoid potential infections and dental crowding.

9) Electric toothbrushes are better than regular toothbrushes. It’s not about the type of toothbrush you use, but the actual brushing that is the only important factor for clean teeth, among other dental hygiene practices.

10) It’s ok to slack on your brushing and flossing as long as you clean your teeth very well right before your dentist appointment. One day of good oral hygiene simply cannot beat weeks and months of slacking and the dentists can’t be fooled. The tartar buildup, which happens over months, doesn’t go away with brushing, and professional teeth cleaning is absolutely necessary.

11) Drinking with a straw is better for your teeth. That is kind of true and kind of false. Using a straw can protect your teeth from stains and acidic drinks, but chewing on it can cause teeth misalignment.

 It’s important to search for the right information, especially about anything related to our health. Prioritizing your dental checkups twice a year and using the appropriate oral care products are key for optimal oral health. Find these products here.