5 myths busted about dental hygiene that are sure to amp up your oral health

Hindustan Times, Delhi | ByZarafshan Shiraz
Aug 14, 2020 08:58 AM IST

Do dilemmas like what kind of toothbrush is best suited for our teeth or whether tooth power or coal is better effective in teeth whitening cross your mind? Well, here’s busting some myths to improve your dental health and oral hygiene. Read on

In the daily rush of getting the day rolling amid COVID-19 pandemic and juggling various household chores with professional work simultaneously, one activity that barely receives our attention is dental hygiene. Though oral health is often taken for granted, the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent disease is an essential part of our everyday lives.

Busting myths about dental hygiene(Twitter/@CoronaNorcoDDS/@icpahealth)
Busting myths about dental hygiene(Twitter/@CoronaNorcoDDS/@icpahealth)

It is a lesser known fact that neglecting oral hygiene for a long period of time eventually starts affecting our overall health and may also lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, arthritis or pregnancy complications apart from the dental cavities and gum disease. Hence, to maintain good dental hygiene, proper brushing and flossing is critically important.

In free time, one can’t help but idly muse what kind of toothbrush is best suited for our teeth or whether tooth powder or coal is better effective in teeth whitening. With work-from-home increasingly becoming the new normal, some spare moments that come with it are perks of quarantine life. Thus, this is the right time to bust some myths about dental hygiene.

In a telephone conversation with Hindustan Times, dentists Dr. Farhana Anzar and Dr. Adeeba Khalid bust some myths about dental hygiene.

Myth 1: Hard brush bristles clean better

Truth: Use a brush with soft bristles and with a small or normal head that can easily reach the molars at the end of one’s jaw. Hard bristles damage teeth and gums.

Myth 2: Use more toothpaste for effectiveness

Truth: Spread a small or optimum amount of toothpaste on top of the tooth brush and ensure that it reaches in between the bristles too. The tooth paste is only for flavour and freshness. The main cleaning depends upon the brushing technique.

Myth 3: Brushing for longer time period is healthier

Truth: Maximum five minutes of brushing does the job. Dentists specially recommend brushing the teeth at night to avoid bacterial growth on the left over food particles inside the mouth. The bacterial growth leads to enamel damaging which results in tooth decay or cavity.

Myth 4: Toothpowder or coal is better effective in teeth whitening

Truth: NO! Tooth powder and coal have strong abrasives which damage the enamel of the tooth, resulting in sensitivity. The friction caused by rubbing the tooth powder decays the enamel. Hence, always use a toothpaste.

Myth 5: Flossing is mandatory

Truth: Flossing is not mandatory but recommended for those who have gaps between teeth as it helps reach in those spaces and clean the areas that the tooth brush bristles missed. If one’s brushing technique is proper, there is no need to floss.

The two jaws inside the mouth are divided into four quads. One must always begin by brushing one quard, whether the top left-corner one or the bottom right-corner one, and then move on to brush the next quad. If you begin with the outer layer of the teeth, clean all of them first before brushing the inside layer.

Keep the brush tilted to touch the teeth and jaws both while cleaning them simultaneously. Cover two-three teeth with the brush and first clean them clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat the same until all the quads are cleaned in the same manner. Make sure that the tooth brush has a head that is a little flexible and can bend while cleaning the inner layer of the front teeth.

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