Questionable Dental Advice From When We Were Young!

A brief look at a few old sayings and how relevant they are today.

Adults and children togetherAs we get older, we sometimes start to recall some of the things that were said to us as children. Indeed, there is every likelihood that this memory recall may have come about because you have found yourself, perhaps unexpectedly, saying exactly the same things to your own children.

It has been said that what we learn early on in life stays with us throughout our lives. This can be very beneficial but can also have long term negative effects, even when said with the best of intentions.

Today, our Greenwich dental team at the Confidental Clinic discuss some dental related sayings that some of you may have heard as a child.

‘Stop picking your teeth’

Let’s start with the one that most likely irritated our parents when we did it, a bit like biting our fingernails or scratching our hair. It is worth asking though, why we actually did this. In all likelihood, it was because we were aware that we had something stuck between our teeth, such as a piece of food. Often we would try to rectify this using our fingernails but as we know, dental floss or a proper “toothpick” is a much better approach – and more hygienic too!

Done regularly and as part of our daily cleans too, flossing will also help to prevent cavities and gum disease.

‘Give your teeth a quick brush’

We suspect most of us will have heard this one at some point in our younger years. It was probably said when we were overly tired and being a problem to get to bed. In order to get a bit of peace and quiet and to get us to bed, our parents would probably think it was a reasonable  ‘trade off’ to make sure that we cleaned our teeth to at least some degree and got us into bed without too much fuss.

As children though, we sometimes tend to have a selective memory and forget the things that we don’t want to do. Permission to give our teeth the briefest of brushings may well have been taken as a ‘free pass’ to do this on an ongoing basis. Especially if our parents didn’t supervise us when we brushed, there were probably many of us who didn’t clean our teeth well enough and ended up having a lot of fillings and even extractions.

Most of you, as adults, probably now believe that you do brush your teeth well. We suspect though, that some of you still might not be brushing for as long as you should. It’s great for kids to time their teeth cleaning to get them into the habit of brushing for at least two minutes, but we also recommend that adults time themselves from time to time too. We think you might be surprised to find that you fall some way short of the recommended 2 minutes. Maybe try it and see!

‘Give your teeth a good hard brushing/scrubbing’

This is one that we don’t recommend at all. We understand that this advice was almost certainly given with the best of intentions, often due to very basic oral health care knowledge. Brushing your teeth too hard is very damaging to the protective enamel on your teeth and modern electric toothbrushes now help us to clean more effectively without applying excess pressure.

Dental advice changes over time as new discoveries are made. Whilst early year parental advice certainly plays a part in setting you up to have healthy teeth and gums for life, you also need to receive professional care to make sure that you are looking after your oral health as well as you can.

The best way to do this is to see one of our Greenwich dental team on a six monthly basis for an examination. If you would like to make an appointment at the Confidental Clinic, you can do so by calling us on 020 8858 1422.