Common Misconceptions about Brushing and Flossing That Everyone Should Know
Myth: The harder or stiffer the toothbrush, the better it will clean my teeth.
Fact: It is universally recommended that a soft toothbrush should be used to avoid abrasion of the teeth and the gums. A hard brush can cause the gums to recede and subsequently abrade the underlying tooth surface. Notching of the root surface will result and may need to be restored with a gum graft and/or a filling.
Myth: I should use toothpaste with an abrasive ingredient to clean my teeth better.
Fact: The ideal abrasive ingredient cleans well with no damage to the tooth. A paste that is too abrasive can cause permanent damage to the teeth and the gums.
Myth: As long as I brush my teeth it does not matter how long I brush.
Fact: It has been found that to effectively clean your teeth you should brush for at least 2 minutes each time.
Myth: I need to scrub my teeth hard to get them clean.
Fact: Excessive force is not needed to remove plaque from the tooth. Electric toothbrushes, which are typically more effective for ideal homecare, only require you to move the brush head along the surface of the tooth and don’t need any extra pressure to adequately clean the teeth.
Myth: If my gums bleed when I floss, then I should stop flossing.
Fact: If you find yourself bleeding when brushing or flossing, it is a sign of gum disease. You should definitely continue brushing and flossing. The more consistently and correctly you care for your gums, the less bleeding you will see.
Myth: I get a bad taste when I floss, so I should stop
Fact: A bad taste can mean many different things. It is commonly the result of old food other debris in between your teeth. When removing the debris during flossing, it can taste poorly. It is also possible there is an area of tooth decay that is trapping food and contributing to the problem. And if there gum disease is developing in your mouth, it is common to notice a bad taste. No matter what the case is, continue to floss and be sure to see your dentist.
Myth: My teeth are so tight or close together that I don’t need to floss.
Fact: You are not flossing to simply remove debris from between your teeth. You are also removing bacterial plaque from the tooth surface. If the bacteria are not removed, you will be prone to tooth decay and gum disease.