Most people are aware of the importance of brushing your teeth, but there are still quite a few persistent toothbrushing myths floating around. Even some of the most popular and seemingly credible beliefs about toothbrushing have no facts to back them up, and it’s important to be aware of which toothbrushing practices are essential and which are nothing but myths.

Here are five of the most common toothbrushing myths, along with explanations of why they aren’t valid.

Mouthwash Can Be a Substitute for Brushing

Another myth that is unfortunately very prevalent is that rinsing with mouthwash can be a substitute for toothbrushing. Fluoride mouthwash can help keep your teeth healthy and prevent decay, but it doesn’t remove food particles and plaque from teeth as effectively as brushing.

Nothing can be a complete substitute for brushing, so it’s important to always brush teeth at least twice a day.

Brushing Harder Is Better

Many people also believe that brushing teeth harder is more effective, but in fact, this may abrade your teeth and will wear your toothbrush out faster. It’s much more important to brush for a longer period of time and cover all areas of your mouth than to exert more force, and brushing harder doesn’t actually offer any advantages.

Instead, focus on hard-to-reach areas like back molars, and always brush for at least two minutes at a time.

Baby Teeth Don’t Matter

Many people believe that since we lose our baby teeth and grow new ones, the health of these teeth isn’t important. In reality, baby teeth have weaker enamel and are more susceptible to damage, and severe tooth decay with baby teeth can create abscesses that cause damage to permanent teeth once they grow in.

In addition, when baby teeth need to be removed, children are more likely to develop crooked permanent teeth. For these reasons, the health of baby teeth matter, and teaching children to brush regularly from a young age is crucial. Contact a Fairmont dental care professional or one in your particular area if you notice your child has major dental issues.

Focus Brushing Only on the Teeth Themselves

It seems logical to assume that maintaining the teeth themselves is the most important factor for good dental health, but the most crucial aspect is actually the health of the gums.

Gums work as the foundation of the teeth and gum decay is the leading cause of tooth loss, so it’s very important to brush the gums around your teeth as well. In addition, using fluoride mouthwash can also help protect your gums for the future.

Always Brush After Eating

Many parents tell their children to brush their teeth right after eating, and as logical a practice as this seems, it can actually weaken your tooth enamel. Eating foods with sugars and acids can weaken your tooth enamel; because of this, brushing straight after these foods can actually cause particles of enamel to be brushed away.

Enamel is crucial to maintaining the health of your teeth, so it’s best to wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth so that no enamel is accidentally brushed away.

Many of these toothbrushing myths are pervasive, so it’s important to know the facts and avoid any practices that might end up weakening your teeth. The most important toothbrushing practice to remember is to always brush twice a day for at least two minutes at a time, and while fluoride mouthwash can be a good addition to a proper brushing regimen, it can’t work as a substitute for toothbrushing.

As long as you keep these five toothbrushing myths in mind and brush your teeth regularly, good dental health is attainable for anyone.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.