5 Dental Myths That Can Hurt Your Teeth

These days, it can be confusing trying to figure out how to stay healthy. If fat good or bad? Are carbs good or bad? There is so much conflicting and confusing data on the internet that it’s hard to separate truth from myth. At our Rochester, MN dental office, our team is dedicated to helping your whole family have great, healthy smiles. To help with that, here are some big myths about dentistry that can hurt your teeth.

Myth #1: Diet soda is fine for your teeth because it doesn’t have any sugar in it.

You know that sugar is bad for your teeth. That’s because harmful bacteria behind cavities and gum disease love sugar. It helps them thrive, which is bad news for you. Regular soda is full of sugar, so many people try to stick with diet soda instead. That’s good, but it’s not as good as you might think.

All soda is full of acid. Sweetness (whether from real sugar or zero-calorie sweeteners) can be too strong, so soda uses acidity to balance that sweetness with a tart, tangy flavor. Acid corrodes your enamel. If you drink a lot of diet soda, you are still damaging and weakening your teeth.

Myth #2: You need a big toothbrush with hard bristles to get your teeth and gums really clean.

If you need to really clean something, you need lots of elbow grease and a tough tool. That doesn’t always work. Imagine cleaning dirt off your car with steel wool. Sure, that dirt is gone — but so is some of your paint job. When it comes to toothbrushes, many people assume a big one with hard bristles will get your teeth super clean.

Unfortunately, that’s not true. Hard bristles can damage your enamel. Soft bristles are strong enough to help keep your teeth clean. Big toothbrushes can have trouble reaching your back teeth, so a smaller head is usually best.

Myth #3: You only need to visit the dentist when you have a problem with your teeth or gums.

Some people hate the idea of maintenance. They skip oil changes, won’t call technicians to clean the air ducts in their home, and so on. They look at dentistry and think they only need to visit our Rochester, MN dental office if they have a specific problem like a toothache.

As with many things in life, prevention and early detection are vital. By coming in for dental exams and dental cleanings every six months, even without a specific problem, you can detect issues while they’re still small. That means they will be easier and cheaper to fix.

Myth #4: If you get teeth whitening, you will damage your teeth.

Teeth whitening is a great thing. Your confidence can soar when you know you look great. However, some teeth whitening systems can cause your teeth to be very sensitive to temperature. That often happens with cheap, over-the-counter systems. After all, you sometimes get what you pay for. At our Rochester, MN dental office, our team can deliver teeth whitening that safely lifts stains and gives you a winning smile.

Myth #5: Bleeding after you brush or floss is normal sometimes.

Brushing and flossing are rough on your gums, so it’s normal if you see some blood when you spit out your toothpaste. Right? Wrong. Unless you’re going crazy, regular brushing and flossing should not cut open your gums. Bleeding like this is a sign of gum disease because your gums are getting irritated and inflamed by harmful bacteria. If you see blood like this, please visit our Rochester, MN dental office as soon as possible.

Myth #6: Sugar is the only thing that causes tooth decay.

While it’s very true that sugar feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay, that’s not the only thing that does. Many “sugar-free” foods are still full of sugar; they just use a version chemically different enough to legally avoid the “sugar” label. Carbohydrates are very similar to sugar, and harmful bacteria can thrive on bread, pasta, and sports drinks. But anything you eat and drink can feed those bacteria. Avoiding sugar and carbs is a good thing, but the key is brushing and flossing.

Myth #7: You need to brush your teeth as soon as you’re done eating.

“Brush after you eat” is a common mantra when people talk about dental health. Yes, brushing is one of the most important things you can do to help your teeth. However, many foods are very acidic. Diet soda, fruit juices, tomatoes, and more can coat your teeth with acid. If you brush right after eating these, you are pushing the acid deeper into your enamel. This only causes more corrosion. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait about 30 minutes before brushing.

If you have any other questions about how to help your family have healthy teeth and gums, call us today at 507-315-2932.