Myth or Fact?
Let’s Separate Fact From Fiction…
You hear tips about your oral health all the time – from friends, family, the media, advertisements, and more…so how do you know what to believe and what to ignore? Let’s separate fact from fiction and reveal the truth about these dental myths.
Myth #1: Brushing and flossing extra well before your dental appointment will hide the fact that you haven’t been brushing and flossing regularly.
False. Ramping up your brushing and flossing a few days before you visit the dentist doesn’t mean you can undo the weeks or months where your oral hygiene habits were lacking! In fact, adding in extra oral hygiene after letting it go for a while has the potential to inflame your gums, making them swollen, red, and more likely to bleed. Your dentist will know your secret! There is no substitution for regular care in between your dental visits.
Myth #2: If your gums bleed, stop brushing and flossing.
False. Actually, the opposite is true. If you notice your gums are bleeding or irritated, you don’t want to stop brushing or flossing! Plaque build-up and food debris on the teeth are the culprits behind gum bleeding. Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque build-up and food from the mouth. If the plaque build-up is severe, a dental cleaning is the best choice to get the problem under control. If your gums are bleeding abnormally or don’t stop bleeding, let your dentist know.
Myth #3: Brushing more always improves the health of your teeth.
False. More is not always better – especially if you tend to brush too hard. Due to the abrasive properties of your toothpaste, over-brushing your teeth can wear down the enamel. Rinsing your mouth out after eating is a safe alternative to extra brushing sessions. Using a soft bristled brush also helps avoid problems for those prone to brushing too hard.
Myth #4: Babies don’t need to go to the dentist.
False. The general rule of thumb is to take you child to the dentist 6 months after the eruption of their first tooth. The checkup will also allow you to ask questions, learn how to clean your babies teeth properly, and get any advice on how you can continue to promote a healthy dental routine for your baby (for life)!
Myth #5: Dental treatment should be avoided during pregnancy.
False. During pregnancy, blood flow, hormones, and often a woman’s diet will change. This can cause an increase in bacteria in your mouth, which leads to an increased likelihood for dental issues such as gingivitis, bleeding gums, or development of cavities over the course of the pregnancy. Be sure to keep that dental check-up during pregnancy. X-rays will likely be avoided, unless absolutely necessary, but many dental procedures, including cleanings are completely safe for pregnant women and can help prevent inflammation.
Myth #6: If there is no visible issue in your mouth, you don’t need to see your dentist.
False. Just because you can’t see a problem, doesn’t mean you should skip your regular dental checkup. Your dental cleanings and exams each year help ensure your teeth stay healthy! It’s also important to find any dental problems early so they don’t become serious. Don’t forget that your dentist visit also includes oral cancer screenings.
Myth #7: Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay because only adult teeth matter.
False. Losing a baby tooth to tooth decay is not insignificant. This can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth just below the baby tooth. It could also mean the child is not developing proper dietary and dental health habits to promote healthy teeth down the line.
Myth #8: You’ll know when you have a cavity.
False. Sometimes you’ll know when you have a cavity or an issue of some kind, but many times you won’t. By the time you can feel the discomfort of a cavity, it has probably spread to a larger area than it would have if it had been caught at a regular dental cleaning and examination.
Have more questions about your dental health or questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have!