Dental Hygiene Myths

Sep 13


Alex Brennt

Alex Brennt

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We all constantly try to make our teeth white and clean, but are we doing it right all the time?


In our times,Dental Hygiene Myths Articles we all brush teeth everyday. We do it regularly and it seems we know almost everything about it, but still there are a lot of myths that do seem like real thing. If we stick to those myths – we make mistakes in dental hygiene, and if we make mistakes there is a possibility of caries developing in our teeth. So what are those myths?

Myth 1: Dentists possess a “secret knowledge” how to brush teeth.

In reality: Most dentists do not pay a lot of attention to a mouth cavity hygiene, regardless of whether it is professional or personal hygiene. Mostly they recommend their patients to use the same means of hygiene they use at home. Also they can recommend those means that are widely known through advertising.

Myth 2: The most important thing while cleaning teeth is the toothpaste.

In reality: Teeth are cleaned by the brush. Toothpaste can not substitute the brush which mechanically removes the plaque. A lot of people pay too much attention to toothpaste without realizing that the idea of cleaning teeth is to remove the plaque. Also the most important requirement to toothpaste should be not the ability to clean, but being harmless to mouth cavity tissues.

Myth 3: Toothpaste should be changed regularly – once, twice or even three times a month.

In reality: Most toothpastes usually consist similar ingredients. Still, there are different types of toothpastes: hygienic, preventive, healing and whitening. It is not recommended to use healing and whitening toothpastes for a long time. Healing toothpastes contain chlorhexidine which is quite strong antiseptic, but the bacterias accommodate to it quickly (2-4 weeks). Whitening toothpastes, which contain peroxides, can cause the dentine hypersensitivity. These toothpastes should only be used by the prescription of a doctor.

Very important matter today is absence of sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpastes. This substance has very negative effect on the mouth cavity tissues, which may cause aphthous stomatitis. Moreover sodium lauryl sulfate negates the effect of chlorhexidine – substance that is part of medicine for gums and throat. If you use medicine like this, you should check whether your toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate or not.

You should also pay attention to index of abrasiveness of toothpaste, or RDA. The average for preventive toothpaste is approximately 70-90, and for the whitening – 120 and more. Figures show the size of the abrasive particles that the toothpaste contains. The lower the index is, the more carefully toothpaste treats teeth. This is very important when you have hypersensitive teeth or the neck of the tooth is not covered because of periodontitis.

If the index of abrasiveness is low, the effectiveness of the cleaning is achieved by ferments in the toothpaste. The best one is lactoperoxidase system that is contained in the human saliva. It increases the protective, antibacterial, remineralizing and cleansing function of saliva. Despite the general idea, there is no addiction to ferments in toothpaste.

So we can make a conclusion – if you choose the correct toothpaste you can use it for your whole life.

Myth 4: Toothbrush must have a comfortable handle, and its bristles must clean between the teeth. Rubber bristles polish enamel.

Modern toothbrushes have very attractive design, bright colors, indicators on bristles, but those things do not help remove the plaque, which is the most important thing in dental hygiene.

Average toothbrushes are made of nylon, which is very tough material and it is very traumatic for gums and enamel. Moreover, the diameter of the nylon fiber is big and the bristles are sparse.

For good, effective and non-traumatic hygiene, softer and not so dense toothbrushes should be used. Average toothbrushes have only 500 bristles, and sometimes some of them are substituted with rubber.

These days there are toothbrushes that have 5 to 11 times more bristles. They are produced of polyester fiber, the head of the toothbrush contains only bristles that harm neither gums nor enamel. The handle should be simple and comfortable for your fingers. This lets us avoid harm while cleaning the teeth. Bristles should be of the same length, because we clean only the plain surfaces of the teeth. There is absolutely no bristles that can clean between the teeth. To do that, you need to use special means. The most effective are inter-dental brush and dental floss. You should also avoid using toothpick as it harms the gums.

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