- Oral diseases, disorders and conditions are among the most prevalent among children, adults and the elderly across the globe.
Oral health consist of dentistry, a branch of medicine involving diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, commonly in the dentition.
Oral diseases, disorders and conditions are among the most prevalent among children, adults and the elderly across the globe.
The heavy burden of oral disease and conditions in Tanzania like in many developing countries and in communities disadvantaged by poverty, remoteness, and cultural barriers to accessing oral health care put emphasis on the need to share oral health information through various media.
An oral health myth is a collectively held oral health information and/or belief that have no basis in fact. This is the first of the oral health myths series and their related realities/facts.
Myth 1: Rinsing the mouth with water after brushing the teeth.
Many years ago, this was the advice for many probably also heard from parents, but the current information or basic tip is ‘Spit not rinse.’
The toothpaste contains lots of useful ingredients and that includes fluoride, which helps to protect the teeth against dental decay, strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on the teeth produce.
So, after brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste by all means, but do not rinse the mouth with water or even mouthwash. One really does not want to remove any left-behind fluoride that can continue to look after the teeth long after the two-minute-or-more brushing regime!
Myth 2: Fruit juice and diet drinks are far healthier than the sugary option
Fruit juices and diet drinks are just as bad for the teeth as their ‘evil’ sugary counterparts!
They cause ‘acid attacks’ on teeth and even pure fruit juices can contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugars that also have a negative effect.
In fact, some fruit juice may contain more sugar than other soft drinks. Over a period of time and if consumed excessively, fruit juices and diet drinks can wear down tooth enamel, leading to cavities, sensitive teeth and, possibly leading to tooth loss.
Their intake should be limited and better stick with normal clear water as it is by far the healthiest option!
Myth 3: As long as one visits the oral health provider every six months, the teeth will be fine.
Regardless of how often one visits the oral health provider; he/she must look after his/her teeth.
One should practice good oral hygiene, consume a healthy diet (with as less often sugar snacks and beverages as possible), and follow his/her oral health provider’s recommendations.
Myth 4: A woman should not have any dental work done during pregnancy.
It is important to have regular check-ups and necessary recommended treatment during pregnancy to help prevent problems. A woman should inform her oral health provider that she is pregnant before check-ups and appointments.
Myth 5: Using a hard toothbrush will clean one’s teeth better than a soft toothbrush.
Using a hard toothbrush can result in abrasion and removal of surface area of the tooth leading disturbing tooth sensitivity.
A soft toothbrush used properly will clean the teeth with less risk of tooth white cover (Enamel) loss.