“The harder you brush the better”, “You just inherit bad teeth and that’s all”, “brush your teeth after every meal”. These and ideas like these tend to stick in the collective subconscious and can harm the public a lot.
Much of the anecdotal wisdom about teeth gives dentists a nightmare, and with good reason; as they can literally see how false and damaging they really are. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of these “facts”.
1. Milk teeth do not need to be brushed
This is simply untrue. It is important to keep milk teeth healthy. If the milk teeth are bad then the teeth under them will come into a bad environment as well, not to mention that the development of proper chewing and speech patterns will require proper teeth, too.
2. Bad teeth are inherited
Not entirely true. Everyone is responsible for the health of the teeth they do inherit. While you can inherit a genetic disposition to tooth decay, and even crooked teeth, what is really important is how you use your teeth; even if you inherit great teeth, they will rot if you do not take care of them.
3. Fluorides are not that important
Blatantly false, believed by people in tin foil hats. Fluorides protect and rebuild your tooth enamel, and kills bacteria as well, is good for the tooth surface, and prevents tooth decay. Protip: use fluorinated to iodized salt when cooking, this way you are increasing your fluoride intake while eating.
4. The secret to clean teeth is to brush hard.
Just the opposite, actually. If you brush too hard and if the bristles on your toothbrush are too hard, you risk losing your tooth enamel by scrubbing it right off, and you end up hurting your gums, which will retract, leaving your teeth exposed. This can lead to different kinds of pain and problems, and it is just a matter of time before problems arise. Protip: use slight, gentle circular motions to remove plaque, starting at the gums and moving downwards.