Dental care is important for maintaining good oral health. Still, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction with all the conflicting information. There are many myths surrounding dentistry, and these can deter people from seeking necessary treatment. Some believe dental procedures are painful, but this is often not the case. Thanks to technological advancements, most procedures are now fairly quick and painle
This blog post will dispel some of the most common myths about dental care so that you can make informed decisions about what’s best for your teeth.
1. Myth: You only need to see the dentist if you’re in pain.
Fact: Seeing the dentist regularly is important for preventing problems like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK recommends that it’s best to see the dentist every 12-24 months, even if you’re not experiencing any pain or other symptoms. Waiting until you’re in pain to see the dentist will likely mean that the problem has already progressed and will require more extensive treatment.
2. Myth: Brushing harder is better for your teeth.
Fact: While it’s important to brush thoroughly, brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums. Be gentle when you brush, using circular motions rather than back-and-forth strokes. This will help remove plaque without damaging your enamel or irritating your gums. Also, remember that if your toothbrush bristles start to look frayed, it’s time for a new brush.
3. Myth: Mouthwash is a good substitute for flossing.
Fact: Flossing is important in oral care because it helps remove plaque and food particles from areas between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. In fact, it’s recommended that you floss before you brush so that the toothpaste can more effectively remove plaque. Mouthwash can help supplement your oral care routine, but it’s not a substitute for flossing.
4. Myth: Dental implants are only for the rich.
Fact: Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth, and they can indeed be expensive. However, there are many options for low-cost dental implants, and many dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the cost. Teeth damage and decay can affect people from all walks of life, so don’t let the cost deter you from seeking treatment if you need it.
5. Myth: Baby teeth don’t matter because they eventually fall out.
Fact: Baby teeth are important for several reasons. They help children learn to speak and chew properly, and they hold space in the mouth for adult teeth. Baby teeth also help guide adult teeth to place when they come in later on. For these reasons, it’s important to take good care of baby teeth by brushing them gently with a child-sized toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day, starting at around 6 months old.
6. Myth: You don’t need to see the dentist if you have false teeth.
Fact: Having false teeth doesn’t mean you can neglect your oral health. Brushing your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth every day to remove plaque and bacteria is important. Not doing so could result in gum disease, bad breath, and other problems. You should also see the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and to have your dentures checked for fit.
7. Myth: Toothpaste with fluoride is bad for your health.
Fact: There is a lot of misinformation out there about the safety of fluoride, but the fact is that it’s a vital component of oral health. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel and making it more resistant to decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using fluoride toothpaste, and many communities have it added to their water supply to help ensure that everyone has access to this important mineral.
8. Myth: Tooth decay is only caused by sweet foods.
Fact: Sugar is one factor contributing to tooth decay, but it’s not the only one. Acidic drinks like soda and coffee can also lead to tooth enamel erosion. To protect your teeth, drink sugary beverages in moderation and rinse with water afterward. In addition, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking to give your saliva a chance to neutralize the acids.
9. Myth: Teeth whitening is bad for your teeth.
Fact: Professional teeth whitening performed by a dentist is safe and effective. However, some at-home teeth whitening kits can damage your teeth if used incorrectly. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and avoid using whitening products more than directed. Ask your dentist if you’re unsure whether a particular product is safe.
Keeping your teeth healthy and clean requires more than just brushing twice a day. Be sure to visit the dentist regularly and take note of these common dental care myths to keep your smile looking its best.