When it comes to taking care of your smile, there are plenty of misconceptions out there. But while good oral health can be achieved in just minutes a day, the wrong practices can cause irreversible damage. Are you a skeptic, or maybe you have one in your family? Here is the truth behind several dental myths to satisfy your skeptic’s need for facts.
Myth: Sugar Rots Your Teeth
When you think of cavities, you might think of lollipops and other sweet and sticky treats. But crackers and chips might be even worse for your teeth, it has to do with the starchiness. It’s carbohydrates in general — they have the sugars that break down the teeth, but they also really stick to your teeth. The reality is that it isn’t the amount of sugar or carbs that are the problem, but rather how long that sugar stays on your teeth. These snacks can be fine as long as you brush your teeth twice a day.
Myth: If Your Gums Bleed When You Floss, It’s Best To Leave Them Alone.
The reason our gums bleed is due to inflammation. Often it happens when bacteria and plaque get stuck in between our teeth where toothbrush bristles don’t reach properly. Over time the bacteria builds up and causes the gums to become inflamed. Bleeding is part of that process. If your gums bleed it is a sign telling you something is going on there. Make flossing a daily habit and the inflammation — and the bleeding — will go away with time.
Myth: You Should Avoid The Dentist During Pregnancy
Pregnant women should never miss their six-month dental visit. The reality is during pregnancy your hormones change dramatically and this can affect your oral health. It is important to keep those appointments to prevent gum disease. If you lose a tooth during pregnancy, it is not because of the old wives’ tale that you may lose a tooth during pregnancy, it is due to other dental issues.
Myth: You Should Rinse Out Your Mouth With Water After Brushing Your Teeth
No. While it’s perfectly fine to spit out any excess foam and toothpaste, you should not rinse out your mouth after brushing. If you do, you’ll wash away a valuable layer of fluoride that protects your teeth
Myth: Diabetics Require The Same Dental Care As Others
The truth is diabetics have more dental problems. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have oral health problems like cavities, and infections of the gums and bones that hold your teeth in place because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the area. If you have diabetes and you’re over 50, your risk is even higher.
Myth: Chewing Gum Is As Effective As Brushing
Chewing gum is no replacement for brushing teeth. Chewing gum may reach the surfaces of your teeth, but it does not reach in between your teeth as flossing does. Although chewing sugarless gum can help keep your teeth cleaner in the short term, there is no substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth every day.
Myth: Children Do Not Need To Go To The Dentist Until Their Adult Teeth Come In
You should take your children to the dentist as soon as their teeth have erupted. They should be taught good oral health care of brushing twice a day. It’s important for parents to get children excited about brushing their teeth at a young age. Then once they are old enough, allow them to start learning to brush their own teeth with supervision.
Myth: Teeth Whitening Hurts Your Enamel
The answer is no, teeth whitening doesn’t damage your tooth enamel. The main portion of the tooth, the dentin, is the portion of the tooth that’s responsible for your teeth’s color. It can cause mild gum bleeding not associated with gum disease.
Myth: The Consequences Of Poor Oral Healthcare Will Only Affect Your Teeth Or Mouth
In actuality, if you don’t take your oral health seriously, you could face much more serious consequences than an aching cavity or yellowing teeth.
- Cardiovascular disease – The bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to the arteries in your heart — causing your arteries to harden. Hard arteries ultimately can decrease, or block, blood flow through the body leading to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Dementia – The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the bloodstream, which can lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory infections – Gum disease could cause infections in your lungs, including pneumonia. While the connection might not be obvious at first, think of what could happen if you breathe in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over long periods of time.
- Diabetic complications – Inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease can lead to difficulties in controlling your blood sugar; making your diabetes symptoms worse. In turn, diabetics are also more prone to periodontal disease, making proper dental care even more important for those with this disease.
Hopefully, we’ve helped clear the air about what is and isn’t true when it comes to dental myths and misconceptions. We hope to educate our patients so we can help prevent many oral health problems in the future in order to help everyone live a happy, healthy life!
About Torbeck Dental
Torbeck Dental treats every patient with dignity and excellent care. We are highly trained dental professionals with exceptionally friendly and helpful service. We understand that for many, visiting a dentist can be a stressful experience so our comfortable surroundings and compassionate staff will ease any fears you may have. We are here to help you achieve your happiest and healthiest smile! Our dental team are a group of experienced professionals using the latest treatments. Our team has the professional experience to realize that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all treatment, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your dental plan. We provide quality and personalized oral health care while keeping your individuality in mind. Our goal is to improve and maintain your oral health so you can smile with confidence!