The top North West dentist clears up 10 common misconceptions
Most people believe they know how to look after their teeth. After all they’ve been doing it for most of their lives. But are they doing it right? Are the things that they’ve been taught or what they’ve been told – actually true? Here from Carisbrook Dental, a top North West dentist, is the definitive Top Ten guide to True or False?
- You should clean your teeth after every meal.
No you shouldn’t. When you eat you cause a build up of acid in your mouth that temporarily weakens the teeth’s enamel and so brushing them immediately after a meal means you are brushing away soft enamel. Now dentists recommend that you should brush your teeth as soon as you get up and again last thing at night just before you go to bed. You can find more information about this on our hygiene page.
- Always rinse your mouth after brushing.
Another misconception. Most of today’s toothpastes contain fluoride, so if you rinse after brushing you’ll simply wash off the protection that fluoride brings.
- The harder you brush the better.
Definitely not. The correct brushing technique is light circular movements. As a leading North West dentist we see lots of evidence of over zealous brushing. Keep it gentle, but be thorough and brush for at least 2-minutes every time you clean your teeth.
- Always use a mouthwash.
Not necessarily. Most people don’t need mouthwash, but it can help those more at risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you want to use a mouthwash, says the top Manchester dentist, you should choose a non-alcoholic type because alcohol can dry your mouth, which could lead to more growth of bacteria – a cause of plaque and bad breath.
- Always floss after brushing.
No, it is not necessary. Although as the leading Manchester dentist we recommend regular cleaning between the teeth as well as brushing, generally we prefer the use of an interdental brush to remove the build-up of plaque instead of a flossing thread if possible. If you have to use floss because your teeth are tightly packed then use an up and down motion instead of ‘sawing’. A good alternative is to use a flossing tape, which is less invasive.
- Electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushing.
It depends how you use them. Some experts claim that they remove more plaque than manual brushing. The truth is however, that if you brush correctly then manual brushing can be just as effective. See our hygiene page where we have a video demonstration showing the correct way to brush. There is no doubt though that good electric toothbrushes – used correctly – are very effective.
- Always use a tooth whitening toothpaste
A definite No! No! Many so-called tooth whitening toothpastes contain high levels of abrasives that work like scourers and although they may remove daily stains, they can also remove and damage the tooth’s protective enamel.
- A good toothbrush will last for years.
Oh no it won’t. Our experience as a leading Manchester dentist says that you should change your toothbrush (or the electric head) at least every three months. Bristles can become contaminated with bacteria. If possible you should store your toothbrush in a clean, dry place – not by the washbasin (or near the toilet) where it can also become contaminated.
- Coconut oil pulling will keep your mouth healthy.
Or will it? The idea is that the oil binds to the biofilm – a thin layer of sticky microbes – on the teeth and then ‘pulls’ it away so you can spit it out. At Carisbrook North West dentist we recently read a study report that said coconut oil was no substitute for brushing.
- Disclosure tablets are a waste of time.
Or maybe not. These over-the-counter tablets contain a harmless dye that stains plaque so you can see which areas you may have missed. Not strictly necessary, but they are useful for young children to teach them how to clean their teeth properly.
Next week we will look into the future to see what dental science has in store for you, but in the meantime if you have any further questions for the top North West dentist clinic then please contact us to make an appointment either by calling 0161 951 7295. Or you can also book an appointment online by using the form on our Appointments page.