4 Myths You Were Told About Dental Hygiene

When it comes to keeping your teeth clean, a lot of it seems like common sense right? Just brush twice a day and visit your dentist every 6 months. But, sometimes things that seem like common sense aren’t exactly true. Here are 4 myths that even I believed before I started dental school:

1. Brushing harder is better

Sometimes when you feel like you have extra gunk on your teeth a natural reaction is to brush your teeth harder than normal.

If you find yourself brushing pretty hard, that means you probably care a good amount about keeping your teeth clean. And that’s good! But, it turns out that brushing too hard doesn’t clean any better and actually does more harm than good. If you brush too hard it can be very abrasive and over time it can damage your teeth and gums. It is better to try and massage your teeth with your toothbrush.

2. Flossing isn’t important

I’ve heard many different opinions about flossing, ranging from people claiming it is beneficial to it being useless.

You’ve probably heard about studies showing that flossing actually doesn’t prevent cavities in between your teeth. And if you haven’t, now you have. Because of this, a lot of people have a reason to avoid flossing altogether as these studies make it seem like flossing is useless.

But, while flossing may not prevent cavities, there have been studies showing that it can prevent gum disease. So, flossing is still important, just not for the reasons you may think.

3. The more toothpaste the better

More toothpaste means a cleaner mouth right? We always see those toothpaste commercials where they cover the entire brush with toothpaste and some even ends up on the counter. I’ve even seen people stop mid-brush to add more toothpaste.

Well, it turns out that a pea-sized amount is all you really need. Any more than that ends up going to waste. Keep this in mind and you shed a few dollars spent on toothpaste.

4. Fluoridated water is bad

Many people get scared when they hear the word fluoride. And that may be because they don’t understand the use of it.

In a nutshell, fluoride can strengthen the surface of your teeth when exposed to them and prevent cavities from forming. But the part where people get concerned is with fluoride toxicity.

While it is true that too much fluoride will cause problems, the amount in your drinking water (in the United States) is not nearly enough to cause these problems.

To put it into perspective, the amount of fluoride in US drinking water is about 1ppm (around 1 milligram per liter), while in standard toothpaste, the amount of fluoride is about 1,000ppm. For more reassurance, the American Dental Association confirms that the fluoride provided in drinking water is not a toxic substance.


Dental Secrets is providing this information for informational purposes only. Please consult a dentist or health advisor for questions. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete or up to date. What I write is my opinion and is not meant to be any sort of health or dental advice.

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