All dentists are faced with the dilemma of trying to be a good dentist and the desire to have a good life.
As much as we claim less is more, the world we live in is a material one–everyone still wants more. As such, some dentists don’t want to provide their patients with useful dental care tips so they can make more money through frequent dental visits. Other dentists just don’t have the time to divulge vital tips and secrets.
While we all know that it’s important to brush and floss a few times daily, some of the secrets dentists don’t share can be really important for our oral health.
We’ve rounded up 10 dental tips and secrets dentists don’t usually share with patients, from why sugar isn’t the only culprit when it comes to tooth decay to why white teeth whitening can be bad for teeth.
You Must Brush for More than the Standard Two Minutes
Dentists’ knowledge often leads them to think that everyone knows what they know. Often, this means they don’t mention the most essential of oral care tips to patients.
Even those who regularly brush twice a day don’t usually spend enough time per session. In fact, 3-5 minutes–not the usual 2–is the ideal time to really make a difference.
You Only Need to Brush and Floss Once a Day
Almost all dentists recommend brushing and flossing 2-3 5imes daily, to prevent the development of plaque. The truth, however, is that repeated brushing can harm your teeth, irritating the gums and damaging the tooth enamel.
Chewing Gum May Be a Good a Habit
Sugar-free gum with a sweetener known as Xylitol can be beneficial to your teeth and gums. Xylitol helps fight harmful bacteria, helping to maintain oral hygiene, which is why it is used for sweetening toothpaste as well.
Most dentists don’t say this to avoid confusing their patients into believing that any chewing gum is good for oral health.
You Should Not Try to Mask Bad Breath
One dental health tip dentists don’t reveal that might be incredibly important is the fact that hiding bad breath with gum or mouthwash is a bad idea. This is because it’s essential for your dentist to assess your natural breath so they can find out if you’ve got any underlying hygiene issues.
So, even if you think you’re sparing your dentist from your foul breath, in most cases it’s advisable to keep your natural mouth odor. This will help the dentist quickly examine your mouth for any potential issues.
You Should Change Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months
After an appointment, many dentists will give away a toothbrush. However, not many will explain why they’re giving out a toothbrush. Well, they do so because you need to change your own toothbrush fairly regularly.
In fact, most dental practices and health organizations recommend that you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. This is because of two things.
Over time, the bristles wear out, making them less effective at cleaning teeth and gums as they thin out and spread apart. Moreover, toothbrushes are the ideal environment for bacteria so if they’re not replaced regularly, they can bring about infections and other issues.
Excess Fluoride Can Harm Your Teeth
Dentists promote fluoride use in toothpaste and sometimes encourage parents to give their kids fluoride supplements. However, taking too much fluoride can change the color of your teeth thanks to a reaction called fluorosis.
While fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth, helping them fight off cavities, fluorosis makes teeth look blotchy and brown. Check to make sure you and your loved ones aren’t taking too much fluoride from the fluorinated water or toothpaste you’re using.
Sugar Isn’t the Only Culprit for Tooth Decay
We’ve all heard dentists urging us to cut back on our sugar consumption to encourage healthy teeth and gums. However, sugar isn’t the only thing that damages your teeth.
Both citrus, like grapefruit and lime, and starchy foods, like chips and pasta, are known to cause tooth decay.
Teeth Whitening Can Cause Problems
Teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after dental treatments. It’s basically bleaching teeth so they can look lighter than they really are. While whitening can’t make teeth pearly white, it can dramatically lighten the color and help cover up stains.
There are numerous risks associated with teeth whitening, though. Many unregistered specialists and beauty salons carry out this procedure even though they aren’t trained to do so, which can put clients at risk of dental hygiene problems that might cause tooth decay.
And even if it’s carried out by professionals, there’s a significant risk of the chemicals harming the gums, causing burns, swelling, and irritation.
For more information about how to treat painful gums, be sure to read more here.
You Don’t Have to Visit a Dentist Every 6 Months
The standard dentist visit schedule involves checkups and cleanings every 6 months. But the truth is that it’s not necessary to visit a dentist more than once per year as long as you take good care of your teeth.
In fact, more often than not, if your oral care is great and there are no issues between dental visits, you could even take up to two years to visit your dentist.
Tongue Piercings Are Potentially Dangerous
The mouth is an eternally moist, bacteria-filled environment, basically making it a breeding ground for infections, especially if you decide to pierce your tongue.
Most dentists will say that a tongue piercing will be okay as long as it’s properly cleaned, but what they ignore is the fact that most tongue piercings lead to chipped teeth and infections.
While the risks aren’t life-threatening, it’s an irritation that your dentist should let you know.
Summing Up Dental Tips
Now that your patients know the dental tips and secrets dentists are not telling them, they can use them to have healthy gums and a sparkling set of pearly white teeth.
For some useful posts on managing and marketing your dental practice, as well as financial advice for dentists, be sure to take a tour of our blog.