Surprising Facts and Myths about Toothbrushing

There are a lot of myths, misconceptions and wrong ‘facts’ about tooth brushing out there so Smile Sarasota thought we should put the facts out there for you. The purpose of brushing is to remove decay and disease causing bacterial plaque.

  • Toothpaste, while helpful in delivering fluoride and other helpful ingredients to your teeth, is not necessary to remove plaque! Really!
  • It’s not how “hard” you brush, but how “thoroughly ” you brush. Plaque is a soft sticky film and you should only use a soft toothbrush to avoid damaging teeth and gums. So should you use a hard bristle brush and the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth become? No. This is another common misconception. Teeth are living biological tissue and unlike any soft tissue in the body, teeth cannot re-grow or repair themselves once they wear out. Wear facets near the gum line in turn increase sensitivity. Too many people believe in applying a lot of pressure while brushing and that can damage the tooth surfaces and cause gum recession. There are a number of techniques so talk to Dr. Still or one of our Hygienists about the one that suits your oral health best.
  • If you brush only once a day (we recommend at least two times a day) you should brush before bedtime at night. The longest period of the day when you are not feeding the bacteria is while you are sleeping. It’s also the time when the flow of saliva is at it’s lowest – saliva is  anti-bacterial.
  • And did you know that brushing does remove plaque from between the teeth?  This is why you MUST floss everyday as well. Brushing does very little to clean the areas where most of the problems occur. Brushing cleans the front, back, and tops of the teeth, but almost completely misses the surfaces in between your teeth (where most problems occur). That’s where dental floss, Soft Picks and proxy brushes come in. A lack of cleaning in between the teeth is what causes most people to end up in trouble with their teeth.
  • If you brush and floss every day, you don’t need to come in to see Smile Sarasota for cleanings and checkup. WRONG. It’s good that you brush and floss every day, but unfortunately,  you can still develop decay and gum disease. There are many other health factors that influence oral health and visiting us regularly will ensure early detection of problems and make them easier to manage.
  • And guess what else? You actually don’t have to rinse after brushing! It washes away the fluoride from the toothpaste that should stay on your teeth. You only have to spit out the foam from your mouth, not gargle or rinse everything off.

This is a great topic to discuss with our Smile Sarasota Hygienists so feel free to ask as many questions as you like. They will know and be glad to help you as well as give you samples of the products we recommend and go over how to use these tools.


Sources and Credits: WebMD,,