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While you may know the basic principles of good oral care, there are plenty of myths that may adversely affect your ability to care for your teeth and gum tissue. This is a problem that affects many people, and it leads to them wondering why their oral care practices aren’t effective. If you develop frequent cavities or suffer from chronic gum disease, believing one of these myths may be the problem.

You Have to Scrub Your Teeth

When you scrub your teeth or use a firm bristled toothbrush, you’ll be eroding the enamel that protects your teeth. As a result, you’ll be exposing the teeth to more bacteria and sugar, increasing the chances of decay. A better oral care practice is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste to polish your teeth gently. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and lightly move the bristles over your teeth in a circular pattern.

Flossing Isn’t Necessary

You should be flossing your teeth at least once each day, but it’s more effective when you floss just before each brushing. This is because flossing will loosen food particles in areas where the toothbrush’s bristles won’t reach. For a more effective experience, a water pick can reach even more difficult spaces. By loosening the food particles just before brushing, you’ll help to flush harmful bacteria and food out of your mouth.

Stop Flossing if Your Gums Bleed

If your gum tissue bleeds as you brush your teeth, this is an indication that you likely have inflamed gums. This is an unhealthy condition that you can treat by getting food particles, sugar, and bacteria out of your mouth. While it might be discomforting at first, flossing more frequently will help remove these harmful substances. Over time, your gum tissue will stop bleeding, and you won’t feel that discomfort when you floss.

Another common myth that too many people believe is that they only need to see their dentist when they experience a problem. In truth, seeing your dentist every six months will help you avoid most of the oral health problems you would otherwise experience. This is because your dentist will provide you with a more thorough cleaning that will remove plaque and tartar. Additionally, the exam will help identify problems sooner when they can be corrected more quickly.