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World Oral Health Day: Is brushing enough to maintain complete oral hygiene?

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Maintaining overall health is important to leading a healthy lifestyle; however, people tend to neglect their oral health. Most of these dentists are often asked about various oral concerns and even common misconceptions associated with them when it comes to oral hygiene.

Questions range from why should one floss if a toothbrush is available to children are not supposed to brush twice or glue will melt my teeth. Confusion, doubts or myths about oral hygiene are part of the daily routine of any dentist and on this ‘World Oral Health Day’ Dr. Anirban Chatterjee, periodontist and implantologist, president-elect of the Indian Society of Periodontology share some interesting ideas with us:

Myth 1: brushing your teeth is enough for good oral health

It is often believed that brushing twice means that one is adhering to good oral hygiene practices. However, no matter how efficiently brushing is done, the entire mouth cannot be cleaned, as the teeth make up only 25% of the mouth. To make sure your entire mouth is clean, rinsing with mouthwash every day after brushing is just as important in removing leftover germs that cause major oral health problems like cavities, bad breath, and gum problems.

Using an essential oil mouthwash will help cleanse your entire mouth of leftover germs from under the tongue, roof of the mouth, and between the cheeks. But be careful, don’t gargle with the mouthwash. It’s best to use the mouthwash according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

A regular dental visit is always recommended at least every six months. (Photo: Getty Images / Thinkstock)

Myth 2: Mouthwash only fixes bad breath

One of the most common myths is that mouthwash only solves bad breath. People are always under the impression that mouthwash can be a quick fix and can also replace brushing to overcome bad breath. However, that is not the case, a mouthwash not only helps to overcome bad breath, but also removes leftover germs in the mouth that are usually not cleaned even after brushing. These germs are the main cause of bad breath and lead to plaque that can cause tooth breakage over time and even gingivitis or gum problems.

Don’t replace brushing with mouthwash, instead add it to your daily oral hygiene routine. Mouthwashes that contain essential oils can help prevent cavities and reduce plaque. Therefore, mouthwash is much more than a solution to treat bad breath, it is an important part of general oral hygiene.

Myth 3: Hard toothbrushes are better.

This is a very common misconception. Stiff bristle toothbrushes followed by vigorous brushing can damage tooth enamel. On the other hand, softer bristles are a better option since they are less abrasive to the teeth and gums, but the best option is to use a medium toothbrush. However, having the right toothbrush, an excellent brushing technique, and brushing twice is not enough. A good general oral hygiene regimen is important to ensure that the entire mouth is clean.

Myth 4: brushing your teeth longer makes your teeth shine

Brushing too much and too often can lead to abrasion of the enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth. The recommended time to brush your teeth is only two minutes, which is enough for the fluoride in the toothpaste to react with your teeth and clean them and you should brush twice a day, no more than two. To get whiter teeth, it is advisable to go to the dentist, since it is a cosmetic process.

World Oral Health Day, World Oral Health Day 2021, How to Maintain Oral Health, How to Maintain Oral Hygiene, Tips for Maintaining Oral Health, Should You Use Mouthwash, How Many Times Should You Brush Your Teeth, Oral Hygiene It is wrongly believed that flaking, in common terms known as teeth cleaning, can weaken teeth. (Photo: Getty Images / Thinkstock)

Myth 5: You need to visit a dentist only during an emergency

The perception that dental treatment is painful often leads people to avoid regular dental check-ups. Many oral problems are asymptomatic and therefore a regular dental visit at least every six months is always recommended.

Myth 6: You should only use mouthwash when you have mouth problems.

A common misconception regarding mouthwash is that one should only use it when they have problems like bad breath, swollen gums, or cavities. However, this is not true, using mouthwash twice a day and making it a routine will help prevent various oral hygiene problems.

Myth 7: Flossing regularly will cause gaps between your teeth.

There are many myths and misconceptions about flossing. While some people think that flossing creates a gap between teeth, others think that flossing is important to prevent future oral health problems and is routinely unnecessary. The fact is, flossing is considered the correct way to clean between the teeth.

Helps remove food debris, plaque build-up between teeth, and reach places that are difficult for a toothbrush. Regular flow along with other oral care is necessary for gum health and will make a person less likely to develop cavities in the long term. Be sure to rinse after flossing.

Myth 8: Professional cleaning weakens the tooth.

It is wrongly believed that flaking, in common terms known as teeth cleaning, can weaken teeth. It is a common reason that patients avoid this procedure. However, to control tartar formation on teeth, scraping is required. The process uses ultrasonic instruments that only remove tartar. After the process, regular use of an essential oil-based mouthwash can help control tartar formation around the teeth.

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