Common Misconceptions About Oral Health


When it comes to oral health, we have a lot of common misconceptions. And these misconceptions start all the way back from our childhoods. Many of us believed that when our baby tooth fell out, we can exchange it for a bit of money if we leave it underneath our pillow for the tooth fairy to find. Growing up, our own set of misconceptions changed. But they’re essentially just that — misconceptions.

As adults, it’s our responsibility to understand the truth behind such misconceptions. If we don’t, then we might unknowingly put our own oral health at risk. The good thing is that some experts believe so, too. So they conducted studies about this matter. One of them is Philips Singapore. Back in March 2020, in time for World Oral Health Day, they published a study that explores how Singaporeans perceive oral health. These are some of the common misconceptions that Singaporeans had about oral health.

Go to the Dentist When Needed Only

Even if most of us professionals have free dental as part of the benefits package offered by our companies, we don’t often pay a visit to the dentist. And, in a way, it’s understandable. It can be such a hassle to visit a dentist when we feel that we don’t need to. After all, so long as we’re not feeling any pain, we don’t need to see the dentist. But that’s not true at all. Having a regular checkup with the dentist is crucial. And even if we’re going for a tooth-whitening procedure, it’s still an important part of our oral health.

Knowing when to start bringing our children to the dentist is crucial as well. According to the study conducted by Philips Singapore, 32 percent of surveyed Singaporeans believe that parents should only bring their children to the dentist when they start eating solid food. In reality, dentists recommend that parents start bringing their children to the dentists when they get their first tooth. This way, parents will be educated early on cleaning their babies’ first teeth and avoiding tooth decay.

Chewing Gum Is Bad for Oral Health

Singapore is widely known for its odd chewing gum ban in the 1990s. There are many reasons why this ban was approved and enforced by the government. Mostly, it was to avoid acts of vandalism using chewing gum, especially in the train stations. Since the early 2000s, the ban on chewing gum in the country has been eased a bit. But it has made its impact on people’s perception of oral health. For one, many have really started believing that chewing gum is much like any candy. Therefore, it’s bad for our teeth. In reality, though, chewing gum can lead to some benefits for our oral health.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, sticking to sugar-free chewing gum is the best way to watch our oral health while still enjoying a bit of candy. Since there’s no sugar, it wouldn’t lead to tooth decay. More than that, sugar-free chewing gum can prevent an acid attack that certain types of food can cause. This acid attack can be detrimental to our teeth and gums if left unchecked.

Brushing Teeth Hard Is the Best Way to Clean Them

brushing teeth

When we look at our teeth, many feel conscious about the sticky or pale yellow substance that forms on our teeth. It’s a clear sign that we’re not brushing our teeth and poor dental hygiene. So what do we often do? Well, we brush our teeth, of course. But knowing that we have such visible bacteria on our teeth, we start to brush more firmly. This is something that many Singaporeans believe in. According to the study conducted by Philips Singapore, 60 percent of surveyed Singaporeans feel that brushing their teeth hard will remove the plaque forming on their teeth.

In reality, though, brushing our teeth more firmly might not necessarily work. In fact, it may even lead to teeth and gum sensitivity and, eventually, pain. Instead, we need to learn the proper technique of brushing our teeth without putting much force on them.

There are a few good things, though, that came out of the study conducted by Philips Singapore. The researchers found that 88 percent of Singaporeans already believe that proper oral health a sign of a person’s positive overall health. And this is true. Yes, our teeth and gums are only a small part of our bodies. But taking care of them shows how a person values the health of their whole bodies.

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