Brushing your teeth has likely been part of your daily routine for so long you’ve stopped giving it much thought. However, if your dentist is dissatisfied with your dental health, you could be operating under false beliefs about healthy teeth cleaning habits. Below are common falsehoods that patients often believe about dental health.
Many people think that the best time for teeth cleaning is directly after eating breakfast and again following dinner, but this practice can actually damage your teeth. Common foods and beverages – orange juice, coffee, tea, tomato soup, sodas, etc. – contain acids that weaken your enamel. If you brush right after consuming them, you risk removing this protective coating, leaving your teeth more susceptible to cavities, stains, and damages. For safe brushing, you should wait at least 30 minutes after consuming acidic substances.
While the CDC’s official recommendation is that toothbrushes should be changed every 3-4 months, a recent study has shown that that may not be often enough. A 2015 article included findings that a toothbrush used for three months was heavily contaminated, especially in comparison to a toothbrush used only for a month. In this article, it was recommended that toothbrushes be changed every 3-4 weeks, not months, to limit exposure to germ and bacteria buildup.
The reasoning is that, if the teeth are temporary, it won’t matter as much if they become misaligned, knocked out, or have a mild cavity due to poor teeth cleaning habits. However, baby teeth help guide your child’s permanent teeth into position. What’s more, an untreated cavity can lead to gum disease and potential decay of the permanent tooth underneath, causing continuing problems. Finally, it instills in your child a lax attitude toward toothbrushing they may carry throughout the rest of their lives.