Since childhood, we know that we should brush our teeth twice a day, avoid sweets, and go to the dentist when nothing hurts. However, not everyone follows these recommendations, and besides, many do not know about other, not the most obvious dangers to our teeth. told about them orthodontist, candidate of medical sciences Andrey Zhuk.
Misconception No. 1. Cakes are forbidden, but fruits and juices are healthy
In fact. Sweet and the truth is not the most useful product for our teeth. However, not all desserts should be added to the banned list, there are those that can be left in your diet.
The harm of desserts is associated with the sucrose present in them: when digesting food, this carbohydrate is broken down into glucose and fructose, bacteria from the oral cavity “attack” glucose and absorb it. This process is accompanied by the production of a large amount of acid, which requires calcium to neutralize. Where to get it? Of course, from the teeth. The more acid, the more calcium we need and the higher the risk that this mineral will “wash out” of the enamel. As a result, the teeth will become less strong and tooth decay more likely.
Of particular concern are toffee and hard candy, which stick to teeth, making plaque more attractive to bacteria. But nut and cereal bars, as well as honey in combs, are much more useful from the point of view of dental health – pieces of nuts mechanically clean teeth from plaque, in addition, such products stimulate salivation, which also helps to clean teeth. Chocolate with nuts is also suitable, just choose bitter, not milk. And, of course, eat desserts a little, and after eating, do not forget to rinse your mouth with water (and ideally brush your teeth). By the way, this applies not only to cakes, sweets and pastries, but also fruits with juices, which, after all, are also carbohydrates.
Misconception No. 2. After eating, you need to use a toothpick, preferably a wooden one.
In fact. Many people like to use toothpicks, but it should be warned – this is a rather dangerous device that can easily injure the gums and cause inflammation, pain, swelling and other problems, up to those that may require the help of a surgeon.
Especially dangerous are wooden toothpicks, which break into fibers and small parts. These fragments easily get stuck between the teeth, under the gums, it is problematic to pull them out of these hard-to-reach places, so they often become a source of inflammation.
Those who like to “pick” their teeth may encounter another problem – atrophy of the gingival papilla located between two adjacent teeth. If it is often damaged with a toothpick, then a hole will appear between the teeth – a place especially attractive for germs. Caries in this area is very likely.
Misconception No. 3. Carbohydrates are bad for teeth, but proteins are good
For example, protein shakes.
In fact. Protein shakes can indeed be an important component of the diet, especially for athletes and weight watchers, but it is important to remember that they cannot replace a balanced diet that is important for dental (and the whole body) health. In addition, their frequent consumption can harm the teeth. If you lean on protein shakes, neglecting proper nutrition, then an imbalance of vitamins and minerals in the body is possible. This can lead to the fact that the protein in the body becomes more than necessary, and then its excess will begin to be excreted by the kidneys, and along with the excess protein, calcium will also leave. As a result, there will be less of this mineral in both teeth and bones, and the probability of destruction of not only tooth enamel, but also bone tissue (osteoporosis) will increase. And if the structure of the bone tissue is disturbed, the risk of developing periodontal diseases will increase – the teeth will become mobile and may even begin to fall out.
Another possible consequence of overindulgence in protein shakes is disruption of the normal microflora in the oral cavity, again caused by an excess of protein. Because of this, some microorganisms begin to multiply actively, while others, on the contrary, die. Most often, fungi of the genus Candida, which cause thrush in the oral cavity, receive an advantage in development.
That is, protein shakes are not bad, but they are not a substitute for a good diet.
Misconception #4: A Hard Toothbrush Should Be Preferred (Especially for Smokers and Coffee Drinkers)
In fact. A stiff brush, of course, cleans plaque, but it has already been proven that, in addition, it damages tooth enamel. It is much better to choose a brush with medium or soft bristles. It is useful to alternate brushes of different hardness. For example, brush one month with soft bristles and the other with medium bristles.
The main thing is to clean constantly: in the morning and in the evening, and ideally after each meal. By the way, you need to change the brush regularly – preferably once a month.
Misconception No. 5. You need to choose a paste depending on the problems (whitening, with anti-inflammatory effect, for sensitive teeth)
And having chosen, it is necessary to use only it.
In fact. The range of toothpastes is now very wide. However, most of the components – whitening, antibacterial, strengthening enamel – are contained in toothpastes in a minimal amount, and therefore, for example, no whitening paste can replace professional cleaning at the dentist. It is desirable that fluoride or calcium be present in the toothpaste, which strengthen tooth enamel and prevent the formation of plaque. Just don’t put too much hope on them. Fluorine in pastes is in a minimally active form, and calcium compounds quickly dissolve under the action of saliva, without even having time to act on tooth enamel.
It is important not to use the same paste all the time, as it will lose its already not very high efficiency. It is much better to alternate different types of pastes – a month to use a whitening paste, a month – a paste to strengthen the enamel, and so on.