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Top 7 oral health myths busted by a dental surgeon

Dr. Puneet Nanda Arneja, an alumnus of Apeejay School Model Town, Jalandhar debunks five common dental and oral hygiene myths to keep your teeth and gums in the best health.

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Myth 1: The harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they’ll be

Brushing too hard can damage your teeth by eroding the protective layer of enamel on the tooth’s surface. Aggressive brushing can even damage your gums. Don’t brush straight up and down or just horizontally. It’s best to gently brush your teeth in a circular motion and give adequate attention to all three sides of the teeth (outside, inside, and chewing surfaces).

Myth 2: Only sugar consumption leads to tooth decay

Yes, a diet high in sugar certainly promotes the formation of cavities, but sticky carbohydrates – such as those found in chips can also be responsible. Frequent consumption of sugary items must be avoided. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, it is better to savour sugary delights once a day rather than consuming sweet-laden items 5 times a day. This will limit your exposure to sugar.

Myth 3: White teeth mean healthy teeth

No, the health of your gums is more important. They are the index of the overall health of your body. Your teeth could be white or yellowish white, it doesn’t matter. Still, blackish teeth can be a sign of an underlying decay or cavities that should be immediately looked into.

Myth 4: Braces are just for children

The fact is you’re never too old for orthodontic treatment. Even a 50-year old can get braces. Though picturing a mouth full of metal may cause many grownups to avoid braces, due to technological advancements, this problem is taken care of. Adults can go for Invisalign aligners as they are subtle and barely noticeable while being as effective as braces.

Myth 5: You need a dental check-up when you have a problem

If you are avoiding a trip to the dentist for your regular check-up because you feel your oral health is in great shape, think again. You need to go to a dentist every six months. Even if you brush twice a day and are religious with your oral health, you still need professional dental cleaning as your brush can’t reach every nook and corner of your tooth. For kids, a visit should take place by their first birthday. With a lot of dental issues, you don’t necessarily feel the pain right away. By the time the symptoms appear, the problem has already aggravated and you could end up needing a root canal or an extraction. Regular dental check-ups prevent plaque, cavities and tooth decay.

Myth 6: Charcoal toothpastes are better than regular ones

It’s a marketing gimmick. There’s no evidence highlighting any potential benefits of charcoal toothpaste over regular toothpaste. While buying a toothpaste ensure that it has fluoride. You should also avoid using whitening toothpastes as their prolonged usage can cause tooth sensitivity.

Myth 7: Children do not require brushing until they turn four or five

Babies, too, need dental hygiene. You should clean your baby’s gums on a daily basis. Use your finger wrapped in a muslin cloth dipped in plain water to scrub away milk residue on the gums. If possible, clean the tongue too. Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. 

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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