Dental Facts and Myths
Updated: Aug 16
By Dr Patrick Wong of Dentists of Hawthorn 330 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.
Patrick relates some good dental hygiene habits and discusses some facts and tooth care misconceptions.
Basic Dental Hygiene Do’s
Maintain regular oral health care at home by brushing twice a day – in the morning after breakfast and at night before sleeping. A good toothbrush should have soft bristles and ideally be changed every 3-4 months. It is also important to floss once a day to clean the plaque from in between teeth because we tend to see decay more in between teeth. Get a good quality floss as the poorer quality flosses will tend to fray.
Importance of Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups allow your dentist to monitor the condition of your teeth, mouth and jaws over time. This prevents serious conditions from developing. Regular cleaning before starting any treatment is important as many common problems (such as cavities and gum disease) can worsen significantly during orthodontic treatment. Seeking a check up before prolonged travel is recommended because you really don’t want to be dealing with dental problems when you’re away from home.
Some Lesser-Known Risks to Dental Health
Certain medications for treatment of osteoporosis can lead to complications for dental treatment. Additionally, pregnancy can sometimes lead to several short term problems for your teeth. For example, prolonged nausea and morning sickness may cause tooth erosion. We recommend that you consult your dentist if you have certain medical needs that affect your lifestyle, so that they are able to give appropriate advice on potential dental issues that are relevant to you.
Habits to Promote Better Oral Health
As always, a good balanced diet is important. A diet that contains a lot of veggies, cheese/dairy products, and fibre-rich fruits can be very helpful in promoting good oral health. While fruits are considered as healthy, be mindful of citrus fruits and fruits that have high natural sugar content, such as mangos, watermelon and grapes. Also, it is a good idea to reduce snacking throughout the day. Studies have shown that constant snacking is a huge cause of tooth decay.
Dental Hygiene Do Nots
A common misconception exists that certain toothpastes can actually whiten your teeth. These toothpastes either work with a low-strength whitening chemical used over a very long period (most results are negligible) or are very abrasive and can potentially cause damage to your teeth. We encourage our patients to not use whitening toothpastes for these reasons.