Five myths about brushing your teeth

We all know that it’s important to brush our teeth. Our mother’s and dentists have been telling us since we first started growing teeth that it’s important to take care of them. But, there’s a few very common misconceptions about tooth and mouth hygiene. We’re going to bust those myths for you right here.

  1. Brush your teeth after every meal
    1. This is a myth because brushing your teeth directly after eating can actually be harmful for teeth. This is especially true if you’ve eaten acidic foods. Acidic foods can weaken the tooth enamel for a short period of time. The American Dental Association recommends waiting 30 minutes after meals before brushing.
  2. There is no such thing as brushing too much
    1. False! You can definitely brush too much. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are designed to be abrasive. By rubbing or brushing the teeth we remove germs and plaque. But, if you continuously scrape the teeth or over brush, you may begin to damage the teeth. Brushing too many times a day or brushing too hard can weaken the tooth enamel. You could also begin to damage the gums. The ADA recommends that you brush two times a day for two minutes each time. Some doctors recommend brushing each quarter of the mouth for 30 seconds a piece.
  3. Your toothbrush is clean
    1. Sadly, our toothbrushes may not be as clean as we think that they are. Most people keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom. Though you may scrub down your bathroom and disinfect, each time you flush the toilet particles are aerosolized. According to one study, the water droplets can travel 10 inches above the toilet. We recommend moving your toothbrush far away from the toilet. And studies show that closing the toilet lid before flushing reduces the spray.
    2. We also recommend keeping your toothbrush dry. Don’t store toothbrushes in sealed containers where they will remain wet for extended periods of time. Germs are more likely to grow in damp locations. Be sure to also rinse your toothbrush after brushing. This will rinse away any excess toothpaste as well as rinse away germs from your mouth.

    How often you should replace your toothbrush.

  5. Whiter teeth are healthier
    1. This is not true because the color of teeth often has nothing to do with the health of teeth. Whiter teeth are usually just teeth that have been bleached or heavily whitened. Teeth become discolored by foods that we eat that stain the teeth. The whitest teeth can still have cavities.
  6. Sugar is bad for your teeth
    1. This is only partially a myth. Sugar can be damaging to the teeth. But what’s important to know is that sugar, along with acid and bacteria is what causes tooth decay. Bacteria likes to feed off sugar. Bacteria uses sugar to multiply and stick themselves to your teeth creating plaque. This bacteria then creates acid. As acid is introduced to the teeth it begins to weaken the enamel. This eventually will cause tooth decay or a cavity.
  7. Bonus!: Flossing only gets the nooks and crannies
    1. Flossing does get into the nooks and crannies but it may be more important than most of us realize. According to one dentist, if you don’t floss, you’re missing 33% of tooth surfaces. That’s a lot of tooth!
About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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If it's been more than 6 months since your last teeth cleaning, give us a call today to schedule your check-up.