February 21, 2017

Tooth Tall Tales: Top Five Tooth Care Myths

It’s pretty common to hear, “Brush three times daily with fluoride toothpaste, and don’t forget to floss!” But is this really necessary? We now live in an era where traditions are constantly questioned – and it’s time to finally settle some of the old myths we’ve been exposed to time and again. Read on for five of the most prolific myths in dentistry.

Tooth Care Myths

1. “Brush Three Times Daily”

While it’s a good idea to at least brush once before bed, is it really all that big of a deal if you miss your morning or mid-day brush? In recent years, dentists have begun to realize there are consequences of over-brushing, as reflected in the accelerated corrosion of the enamel. It’s becoming recognized that gentle, once- or twice-daily brushing is good enough for most people.

2. “Avoid Candy, Desserts and Soda, and You’ll Be Fine”

That used to be true, but not anymore. Agricultural giants have picked up in recent decades on a trick that works: adding sugar to just about everything. Your breads, cereals, whole grain health foods, nuts and dairy products (specifically yogurt) are all being laced with subtle amounts of sugar which add up over a day’s meals and cumulatively attack the enamel of your teeth.

3. “You Have to Use Fluoride Toothpaste”

That’s not necessarily true. In fact, it’s well-established that pure baking soda alone makes a fine cleansing agent for teeth. The problem is, it lacks the protection offered by fluoridated toothpastes, but the type of fluoride used in such products is actually an unnatural variety (usually sodium fluoride) which can promote dental fluorosis in the long run. A safe compromise would be a balance between fluoridated toothpastes and baking soda, alternating between the two to limit exposure.

4. “Regular Dental Appointments Are Mandatory”

While helpful, they tend to be expensive, time-consuming and – above all – unnecessary. Still, an occasional checkup is a great idea to make sure everything is coming along fine. If you’re seeking out a dentist in your area, it’s good to establish who’s available and where, and a quick Internet search can fix that. For those looking for dentists in Hamilton or Ontario, York & Bay Dental Office can be a good option.

5. “Silver Fillings Are Perfectly Safe”

Alas, there’s surfacing evidence this isn’t entirely true. What dentists call ‘silver fillings’ are in fact conglomerations of various metals, including mercury. While they remain safe for a number of years after they’re installed, they wear down over time and can leak mercury into your system. It’s a good idea to have these replaced with mortar fillings if possible.

There are many more myths floating about, including the notion that sucking on an aspirin ameliorates toothaches, and bleaching weakens the enamel. As the mist of controversy swirls, the line dividing truth from not-so-truth is becoming more apparent as the Internet bridges experiences and claims together into educated conclusions.

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