As soon as the first baby teeth appear, we learn how important dental care is and what to do for it. However, there are a number of myths about dental care in this context that have been around for generations but are clearly wrong.
Discover here which things you should take into account for your proper dental care and which claims clearly belong in the fairytale world.
Is tooth decay hereditary?
Tooth decay is not inherited.
Time and time again, you hear that tooth decay is hereditary: “I can’t help my bad teeth; I inherited it from my parents.”
The bacteria that inhabit our mouths are what cause caries. The metabolism of these bacteria mainly converts sugar into acids, which attack the tooth enamel. If the penetration of the microorganisms is not prevented in time, damage to tooth roots and nerves can also eventually occur. In the worst case, the result is not only the loss of the affected tooth but also the deterioration of other teeth nearby.
However, hereditary predispositions can promote the growth and retention of bacteria on teeth. In particular, the amount of saliva produced and its composition can promote the growth of bacteria.
The best ways to deal with caries bacteria are:
- Brush your teeth regularly to remove food residues and deprive the microorganisms of their nutritional base. The American Dental Association advises brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Using antiseptic mouthwashes – preferably made from natural ingredients such as baking soda, sage, mint or honey
- Regular checkups at the dentist
Should milk teeth not be brushed?
Good care also for baby teeth
Another recurring rumor says: “Small teeth do not need to be taken care of because they will fall out anyway and will be replaced by the right teeth.”
It’s true that we only use our baby teeth for a few years before our permanent teeth form. But caring for baby teeth for lifelong dental health is still very important.
Deciduous teeth are not only used for chewing and eating but also serve as placeholders for subsequent permanent dentition. They also ensure that the jaw skeleton is formed correctly.
As with the second tooth, caries disease of the baby teeth can be very painful. If left untreated, there is a high risk that the bacterial contamination will be transferred and also spread to subsequent permanent teeth. In addition, especially in small children, the immune system is not yet fully developed. This makes not only the milk teeth but also the surrounding tissue more susceptible to infection.
Bottom Line: Taking care of baby teeth is essential for dental health and should be done carefully and regularly, especially in small children.
Cavities can form due to excessive sugar consumption.
Most people believe that eating a lot of sugar can cause cavities that lead to tooth decay.
It’s all wet!
Consuming a lot of sugar is not the actual cause of tooth decay; rather, it is the time that sugar stays in the mouth.
When you eat sweets, microorganisms in your mouth make acids that slowly dissolve your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay.
Brushing and flossing aren’t the only ways to repair the enamel that harmful bacteria have worn down; the minerals in your saliva can do the trick, too.
Do the teeth need to be brushed vigorously?
Brush your teeth – but do it right.
Following the motto “a lot helps a lot,” many people believe that only brushing with the strongest possible pressure can effectively clean the teeth. This is one of the myths about dental care and is
Strong pressure during brushing causes the toothbrush’s bristles to deform extremely quickly, making them unusable and ineffective. Much worse, however, is that the high mechanical stress can damage the surface of the tooth enamel. This, in turn, promotes the penetration of bacteria and the development of tooth decay.
So be sure to avoid too much pressure when brushing your teeth. Instead, it’s much more important to brush your teeth thoroughly. The general recommendations are between 3 and 5 minutes. Modern electric toothbrushes may be right for you if you have trouble finding or maintaining the right mechanical pressure when brushing your teeth. Many models now offer the function of an acoustic or colored signal as soon as the toothbrush is pressed too hard.
Do I need to brush my teeth immediately after every meal?
Brushing after meals is part of good dental care to remove food residues, sugar and acids. BUT: You shouldn’t start right after eating. Because it is precisely the parts that we are so eager to remove that make our teeth softer and, therefore, easier to attack.
The tooth enamel doesn’t fully regain its stability until acids, in particular, are sufficiently dilute by saliva. Therefore, ideally, one should wait 20-30 minutes before starting dental care after a meal.
Is honey harmful to teeth?
Honey and teeth – is that possible?
We all know that constant consumption of sugar not only leads to weight gain but is also harmful to the teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugars found in grape, fruit, milk, and table sugar (sucrose). Microbes’ metabolic processes turn this sugar into acids that eat away tooth enamel. So, does honey also have a negative impact on our dental health?
In fact, research shows that honey has a beneficial effect on oral health. This is due to the fact that honey is loaded with compounds that have antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects. These can kill or at least inhibit the development of microorganisms. In addition to preventing tartar buildup and periodontal (gum) disease, this method also protects against gingivitis and periodontitis.
New Zealand Manuka honey is especially recommended for dental care. The component methylglyoxal (MGO), present only in high concentrations in this honey, is characterized by its unique antibacterial potential. Hence toothpastes and oral care products are especially recommended with Manuka honey. By the way, the Manuka toothpaste is not sweet but tastes similar to conventional toothpaste.
But not only do the teeth benefit from this valuable natural substance, but also the surrounding gums and oral mucosa can be perfectly mixed with honey and propolis.
We can promote better oral health practices by dispelling these common myths about dental care. Remember to brush gently, floss daily, maintain a balanced diet, and visit your dentist regularly. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is essential for a healthy smile and overall well-being. Don’t let misinformation prevent you from achieving optimal dental health.
At Virginia Dental Care, we’re striving to give you a stunning smile by restoring your oral health. So get in touch with us if you’re concerned about your dental health.