Myth Busting – Toothbrushing

There are plenty of myths around about our teeth and how we care for our mouths. We’ve come a long way with modern dentistry so let’s find the truth about some of those common misconceptions.  Claim: The harder you brush your teeth the cleaner your teeth will be. Myth It might seem reasonable  that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be, but scrubbing your teeth with too much pressure or using the hardest toothbrush you can find can cause a range of problems such as  sensitive teeth and receding gums.   At Renew Dental Lounge, we  recommend “gentle toothbrushing using a soft toothbrush”. To remove plaque, it’s good brushing technique that matters the most. The key is to aim the toothbrush bristles directly at the gum line, rather than the top of the tooth, as this is where plaque starts to form. Move the toothbrush in a gentle, circular motion, which will clear away plaque, for a total of two minutes. Even better is an electric toothbrush coupled with a soft toothbrush head as they sense when you are pressing too hard.

Claim: Toothbrushes must be replaced regularly 

True

The Australian Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush (or brush head, if it’s an electric toothbrush) every three months or when the bristles start to splay (whichever comes first), or after you’ve had a cold. So if it looks like a shaggy dog it’s  time to replace it. If your toothbrush bristles are wearing out in less than three months, you may be pressing too hard while brushing.

Claim: Mouthwash isn’t necessary for oral health

True

There’s a confusing array of mouthwashes available today promising to do everything from fight bad breath to help protect against tooth decay, gum disease and even whiten teeth. But do we really need it? At Renew Dental Lounge, we only recommend you use alcohol free mouthwash just to freshen your breath, but if you’re keeping your teeth sparkly clean and having regular professional cleans you really shouldn’t need it. From time to time we do recommend other mouthwashes that contain fluoride or chlorhexidine but these should be used carefully and under the dentist’s direction.

Claim: It’s okay to share your toothbrush occasionally

Myth

Ick. It might seem like an act of kindness if someone has forgotten to bring theirs, but what you’re really doing is sharing your germs with them. It’s not a good idea to share anything that has been in the mouth as it is full of bacteria and can easily spread saliva-borne viruses and bacterial infections. And there’s no 5 second rule either.

Claim: You need a full line of toothpaste on your brush

Myth

We’re used to seeing toothpaste ads showing a line of toothpaste being squeezed along the toothbrush but you only need a small of fluoridated toothpaste, about the size of a pea, on your brush. Children should use a low fluoride toothpaste as they tend to swallow more of the toothpaste rather than rinsing it away.

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