It can be tough to make the right choices for the ongoing health of your teeth and gums because people run into a lot of misinformation about dental care. We’ve rounded up some of the most common misconceptions for you here, and we encourage you to get all of your dental information from and oral health care questions answered by a dentist.
You might think it’s smart to brush your teeth right after your meals so that the bacteria in your mouth never has a chance to feast and flourish. If you’ve eaten or drank anything acidic, however, brushing your teeth before your saliva has a chance to neutralize the acids can be pretty tough on your enamel. It’s best to rinse with water and wait about 30 minutes before brushing.
Not exactly. Bacteria inside the mouth feed on sugar and carbohydrates. These bacteria produce acids that wear down tooth enamel, causing decay and cavities.
Vigorous brushing does more harm than good. Tooth enamel is delicate, so it’s best to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Gently brush back and forth, focusing on only one or two teeth at a time.
Some at-home teeth whitening products can damage tooth enamel or cause sensitivity – especially when the product isn’t used exactly to the specified instructions. Professional teeth whitening, however, is supervised by a dentist and perfectly safe for teeth.
Many people believe that mouthwash with alcohol is the best because it kills bacteria. Unfortunately, alcohol kills the good microorganisms in your mouth, along with the harmful bacteria. It also breaks down fillings, dehydrates soft tissues, and can lead to oral cancer. Instead, look for an alcohol-free mouthwash with fluoride or ask our dentist about prescription mouthwashes, if you’re struggling with bad breath.
Whether you’re wondering about your daily oral hygiene or thinking about trying a new mouthwash, toothbrush, or teeth-whitening product, Dr. Schaffer is here to provide you with science-backed facts about caring for your teeth and gums. Contact Schaffer Dental Excellence to schedule your next dental checkup. (You should have one at least once or twice a year – another myth debunked!)