It is said that a smile is the first thing others notice about you. So much so that we are taught to brush twice daily and floss regularly to keep our pearly whites sparkling.
However, there is more to our smile than glitter. In fact, our smile and the teeth that comprise it are very important to our well-being.
Teeth are so important that there are many different opinions out there regarding proper dental care. Is sugar truly the bad guy? Is it true that your toddler’s new teeth don’t need to be checked out?
Here are eight common dentist myths for you to chew on – pun intended.
Dentist Myths #1: Juice Is Better Than Soda
It is a common thought that too much sugar is unhealthy for your smile. Unfortunately, fruit juice contains sugars that naturally occur in nature – creating an issue for your delicate teeth.
Sugar creates plaque that attaches to the surface of the teeth. When plaque attaches, it can wear the surface of the enamel, creating holes and cavities.
Although soda is just as harmful, the myth that juice is a better option for your teeth is a common misconception. Although juice is healthier for your bodily processes, it is not healthier for your teeth.
#2: Teeth Whitening Harms the Teeth
If you had to choose between that cool iced latte in the morning or a whiter smile, which would you choose?
Okay, not fair. You can have both. Second on our list of dentist myths is teeth whitening. Believe it or not, there are no studies that conclude teeth whitening to be damaging to your teeth.
Whitening treatments can cause sensitivity if used regularly. However, the feeling never lasts. You can try to avoid overly sweet food as well as extremely cold liquids for a few hours after your treatment to avoid any sensitivity pain.
#3: New Baby Teeth Don’t Need a Check-Up
Yes, they do. It is true that a baby tooth will be replaced with an adult tooth later in their life. However, baby teeth are important for their age, not just for eating purposes.
Instead, a baby’s teeth work to also protect their gums from damage. A baby will not be able to replace their tiny gums.
A regular checkup should be scheduled to check your little one’s teeth for decay. Decay can cause pain in your child’s mouth, which can cause many other issues such as malnutrition.
#4: Gum Bleeding Is Normal
Dentist myths such as this one are simply not true. Bleeding gums are not normal, although it is a common happening around the world.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of another underlying issue that needs to be checked out. This may include an infection or disease within the mouth.
It is best to consult a dentist as soon as you notice your gums beginning to bleed. No, it isn’t from brushing too hard either.
Although you may experience pain with brushing too hard, do not let this sway you in the wrong direction. Pain does not necessarily accompany gum disease.
#5: My Medicine Won’t Effect My Teeth
Although some physicians will agree that your prescription medication won’t affect your mouth, the opposite is actually true.
Your medication can have negative implications on your teeth from the dry mouth effect. Unfortunately, a dry mouth is a place where bacteria can thrive.
Our saliva helps keep plaque off of our teeth and contains bacteria fighting agents. Without it, bacteria can have a party within our mouths. And it isn’t one you want to bring balloons to.
Talk to your dentist about your prescriptions. There are oral rinses and washes that can help with dry mouth symptoms.
#6: I Don’t Need to Floss
Flossing can be a drag. In fact, 27% of Americans lie to their dentists about how often they floss. A drag maybe, but important also.
Flossing removes plaque and tartar that your toothbrush just cannot reach. Any plaque or tartar that is left on your teeth can lead to tooth decay, quicker than you may think.
Flossing also removes food particles that can be left to rot in between your teeth. Tooth decay caused by the lack of flossing and dental hygiene can lead to more serious diseases that can end up costing you.
#7: Brushing Harder Will Get Rid of My Bad Breath
Although brushing your teeth is important, it won’t remove all of the garlic after this evening’s pizza binge.
Bad breath has many causes such as the foods that we eat and illnesses that we face. Chronic halitosis can also be a health concern for even those who brush more than twice a day.
If you find that you are dealing with bad breath and odor, regardless of good dental hygiene, it is time to consult your dentist. It may not necessarily be your fault.
#8: Brushing Before My Appointment Will Mask Improper Hygiene
We have all done it. We have been scheduled for a dental appointment, only to panic an hour before we go. We brush our teeth three or four times to mask today’s lackluster dental hygiene.
However, it is impossible for your dentist to not know how well you are taking care of your teeth. Improper hygiene will result in red and swollen gums that brushing will only make worse.
It will also be obvious to your dentist that you do not floss, due to the plaque that may reside within your teeth as well as the buildup of tartar.
It is best to remain truthful with your dentist, especially if you are struggling. They will be able to help.
The Wrap Up
Dentist myths are everywhere. From myths involving your baby’s new teeth to flossing being just an extra step, the dentist myths outweigh the truth.
However, good dental hygiene is just as important, if not more, than regular bodily hygiene.
In order to keep your mouth in tip top shape, be sure to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist for regular checkups and take each myth with a grain of salt.
After all, even though you think you know the “drill”, going to the dentist for the truth can be very full “filling”.
Got any questions to ask or thoughts to share? Get in touch!