As a kid, did anyone ever tell you not to swallow apple seeds or you would have apple trees growing out of your ears? Whether you fell for that one or not, it’s all-too-easy to buy in to some of the common myths that are out there regarding your oral health. In this blog from our Sarasota Dentist office, we’d like to debunk some of these myths.

It’s possible to brush your teeth too little, but it’s not possible to brush them too much.

It certainly is possible to brush your teeth too little, and your dentist and hygienist will know it if you’ve done this. However, if you brush your teeth too much you can also damage them. People who brush their teeth twice a day for about two minutes each time are doing it just right. However, more than this (or spending excessive amounts of time on your twice-a-day brushings) can actually have an abrasive effect on your teeth. It would be kind of like scrubbing your cookie sheets to get the burned bits off, but then continuing to scrub until you’re actually wearing away the underlying metal. You don’t want to wear away your tooth enamel through overzealous brushing.

Teeth whitening products damage teeth, so you shouldn’t use them.

While we can’t speak for DIY teeth whitening products, the professional teeth whitening treatments that you’ll get at our dentist’s office are safe and won’t damage your enamel. Plus, they’ll probably get your teeth several shades whiter than you would have been able to get them with an at-home product. This is one of the areas where it’s best to stay on the side of caution and let your dentist do it safely.

A toothbrush with the stiffest bristles does the best job of cleaning your teeth.

If you are a fan of the stiffer bristles on a toothbrush because you’re expecting them to have more cleaning power, think again. Most dentists recommend the medium or soft-bristled toothbrushes for good reason. Brushing your teeth shouldn’t feel like scrubbing a carrot with the stiffest-bristle vegetable brush you can find. Instead, the more gentle brushes help to polish away debris, keep down plaque, and stimulate your gums just the right amount. Careful about how hard you’re bearing down on your toothbrush, too. If your medium- or soft-bristle toothbrush quickly gets splayed bristles, you should lighten up your touch.

I won’t get cavities if I avoid sugar.

Cavities actually come from a bacteria, not a sugar. While the presence of sugar definitely feeds these bad mouth bacteria, making them more likely to multiply faster and wreak more havoc inside your mouth, avoiding cavities is not as simple as simply cutting out sugars. Even foods that don’t taste “sweet” (like bread and potatoes) can have the exact same effect as sugar to feed your mouth bacteria. However, eating a healthy diet, eliminating colas and sugary juices, and boosting your intake of nutritious foods can go a long way toward boosting your overall health, well-being, and even your oral health.

For dental checkups, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants in Sarasota, Joshua Colkmire is here to serve you. Book your appointment today.