There are numerous myths about oral health and dental treatments. These myths can keep you from receiving necessary dental care or engaging in oral health practises that keep your mouth healthy. As a result, it is critical to distinguish between dental myths and facts in order to improve the quality of your oral health and overall well-being.
- Myth: Tooth loss is inherited
Contrary to popular belief, tooth loss is almost entirely preventable. Cavities are the most common cause of tooth loss, which can be avoided with good oral hygiene. You can keep your pearly whites for a lifetime with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental visits, and preventative care.
- Myth: Your oral health has nothing to do with your overall health.
Bacteria from gum disease, caused by poor oral hygiene, can enter the bloodstream and cause serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications. Furthermore, diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS can reduce your body’s resistance to infection and contribute to oral health issues. As a result, caring for your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
- Myth: Brushing more vigorously results in cleaner teeth.
Brushing your teeth completely is vital; but, brushing too hard can wear down the enamel and cause discoloration and pain. Furthermore, brushing too hard might harm your gums and cause them to bleed and recede. As a result, it’s advisable to clean your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid using too much pressure.
- Myth: It makes no difference what time of day you clean your teeth.
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time is recommended by the American Dental Association. Aside from the twice-daily norm, it’s also crucial to consider the time or when to wash your teeth. Because antimicrobial saliva production decreases when we sleep, our teeth are more exposed to cavity-causing chemicals and gum disease. Brushing your teeth before going to bed and when you wake up is therefore strongly suggested.
- Myth: Brushing your teeth well before a dental hygiene consultation can conceal previous poor dental care.
Even if you brush and floss your teeth well before your dental hygiene appointment, your dentist will be able to identify what your typical habits are, such as whether you brush and floss frequently, smoke, or consume soda. For example, if you do not clean your teeth on a regular basis, hard tartar accumulates on your teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. If you don’t floss, your gums will be puffy, and red, and may even bleed during your dental hygiene appointment. Bleeding gums and a buildup of tartar are both indicators of poor dental care.
- Myth: Crowns and fillings save teeth from decay in the future.
Dental crowns and fillings do safeguard your teeth in some way, but they do not protect your teeth against future deterioration. A tooth that has received a dental restoration is just as prone to deterioration as it was before the repair. Furthermore, if another cavity forms in the same location, subsequent treatment will be more expensive. As a result, whether previously repaired or not, it is critical to brush and floss thoroughly all of your teeth on a regular basis.
- Myth: Dental x-rays are harmful.
Dental x-rays are safe and emit very little radiation; a complete mouth set of x-rays emits roughly the same amount of radiation as a flight from Seattle, WA to Medford, OR. While dental x-rays do expose you to some radiation, the advantages far exceed the hazards. Dental x-rays may detect changes in your hard and soft tissues and aid in the diagnosis of problems such as gum disease, cavities, and even malignancies.
- Myth: Pregnant women should avoid going to the dentist.
Pregnancy hormones may raise the likelihood of gum disease. Gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) affects around 50% of pregnant women, thus pregnant women should be extremely careful about their oral health and avoid skipping normal dental check-ups and cleanings. While certain repair and emergency dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, aesthetic operations such as veneers and tooth whitening should be postponed until after the baby is delivered.
- Myth: You should only go to the dentist if you have a problem.
Gum disease and cavities may go undetected in their early stages. Furthermore, if you drink alcohol, smoke, or consume a poor diet, your teeth are predisposed to dental issues in general. Thus, obtaining frequent dental examinations every 6 months is critical to avoiding future suffering and costly dental therapy.
- Myth: Because primary teeth are not permanent, you do not need to care for them.
Primary teeth make room in the jaw for adult teeth to develop. If a primary tooth comes out too soon, other teeth in the mouth will try to fill the hole, preventing the permanent tooth from fully forming. Crowding and biting misalignment might result as a result. As a result, developing good dental practises at a young age can assist safeguard the development of adult teeth.
- Myth: Teeth whitening is harmful to your teeth.
Professional teeth whitening under the guidance of your dentist is safe and effective, and will not harm your teeth. It is crucial to remember, however, that some over-the-counter solutions have been known to cause tooth and gum damage; therefore, it is advisable to use a professional choice.