For some reason, people, in general, seem to have a lot of misunderstandings about dentists. Here at Perfecting Your Smile, Jamestowne South Dental Cracchiolo, Jr. and his team know how easy it is for patients to buy into myths about dentistry that simply aren’t true. Knowing this, we’d like to debunk ten of the most popular dental myths to make those in need of Bingham Farms family dentistry more comfortable with their experience.
Top Ten Dental Myths (And Why They’re Wrong)
Myth 1: You Don’t Need to Floss
Myth Busted: Some patients point to research suggesting that flossing doesn’t do much to prevent tooth decay, but removing bits of food from between your teeth reduces plaque and gingivitis and makes it less likely that you’ll have bad breath.
Myth 2: Brushing Harder is Better
Myth Busted: When it comes to brushing, a soft-bristle brush is always best. What matters is how often you brush and how well you brush, not how hard you brush. Brushing too hard can irritate your gums.
Myth 3: Teeth Whitening Wears Away Enamel
Myth Busted: Teeth whitening is perfectly safe, especially when done through your dentist’s office. Professional whitening is always safest, but even over-the-counter whiteners are fine when used correctly and in moderation.
Myth 4: Brushing More Right Before a Dentist’s Appointment Makes Up for Bad Dental Habits
Myth Busted: No amount of last-minute brushing and flossing is going to make up for months of bad brushing habits. Your dental hygienist will know whether you’ve been taking care of your teeth the past six months, so brush and floss every single day!
Myth 5: Kids Are More Likely to Get Cavities Than Adults
Myth Busted: This may have been true decades ago, but today, children drink fluoridated water and have better access to dental care, while adults (especially senior citizens) may have reduced access to the dentist, poorer brushing habits due to arthritis or mobility issues, and/or dry mouth due to medication.
Myth 6: Gum Disease is Just a Mouth Problem
Myth Busted: Research shows that serious gum disease can impact full-body health, with connections to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.
Myth 7: Bad Breath is Caused by Tooth Decay
Myth Busted: While bad breath can be caused by tooth decay, it also can be caused by gum disease, acid reflux, sinus infections, or any number of other problems.
Myth 8: Sugar Causes the Most Cavities
Myth Busted: Actually, the acid causes the most cavities, and foods heavy in carbs are loaded with bacteria that produce acid. In some ways, starchy foods like crackers and chips may be worse for your teeth than lollipops or caramels.
Myth 9: Don’t Brush Bleeding Gums
Myth Busted: If your gums are bleeding, it means you’re dealing with some gum disease, and brushing them less isn’t going to help anything. You should be brushing twice a day regularly to help alleviate that issue.
Myth 10: You Can Skip Dental Checkups If Your Teeth Seem Okay
Myth Busted: Most patients are not dentists themselves, which means they don’t always know when something’s wrong with their teeth. X-rays catch cavities that may not be painful (yet), and dentists can also find other potential oral health issues that you had no idea existed. Just because you don’t have any toothaches doesn’t mean you should skip your appointment.
Your Dental Experience at Perfecting Your Smile
If you’re due for a dentist appointment (or some of these myths have reminded you to schedule one), simply give us a call so we can help you keep your teeth healthy. Don’t believe everything you hear about dentists! Many of those myths simply are not true!