It seems like everything is known about the rules and recommendations on how to take care about our teeth effectively. However, day after day new versions of good old principles of dental care appear here and there. As a result, many people still remain confused about the basics of brushing, flossing, whitening and other dental care procedures. Check out the most popular dental myths and related comments of dental specialists.
MYTH: Brushing my teeth several times a day harms the enamel.
TRUTH: This is partially true. Usually, it is enough to brush your teeth two times a day, but if you have an opportunity to brush your teeth more frequently (for example, after every meal), use a soft or extra soft toothbrush.
MYTH: Expensive toothpastes are always better than cheap ones.
TRUTH: It is not always true, and some moderately expensive toothpastes can be very effective. Ask your dentist about the toothpastes that can be good for your particular dental situation.
MYTH: Using a sugarless chewing gum with xylitol after meal can replace brushing and have the same effect.
TRUTH: Not really, but if you can not brush your teeth after every meal, you can use a sugarless chewing gum to clean your teeth and refresh your breath. Do not chew it for more than 10 minutes.
MYTH: I must not brush my teeth if my gums bleed.
TRUTH: Bleeding gums is a sign to see your dentist. However, if you can not do this as soon as possible, you can brush your teeth with a soft or extra soft toothbrush.
MYTH: Placing a tablet of aspirin beside my aching tooth can ease the pain.
TRUTH: Aspirin does not work effectively for relieving toothache. Besides, it damages soft tissues in you mouth. Therefore, it is better to use natural analgesics, such as clover oil or tea tree oil.
MYTH: There is no need in seeing dentist if there is no visible problem with my teeth.
TRUTH: You must see your dentist twice a year, no matter in what condition your teeth are at the moment. Sometimes, only a dentist can see possible problem, and it is always better to start treatment on the earliest stages.
MYTH: If tooth enamel is white, the tooth must be considered healthy.
TRUTH: This is absolutely not true! A tooth can look healthy and white, but, at the same time, it can have cavities, problems with the root or other abnormalities that require treatment.
MYTH: After a decayed tooth is treated, there will be no more decaying there.
TRUTH: There is no guarantee for this. After the treatment, every tooth must be properly cared about: regularly brushed, flossed and so on.
MYTH: It is better to treat a decaying tooth rather then opt for removing it.
TRUTH: Before making a decision whether to continue treatment or remove an aching tooth you have to consult a qualified dental professional and, possibly, ask for the opinion of several specialists. Sometimes, even totally decayed tooth can be restored, and, at the same time, there are situations when even a healthy looking tooth must be extracted.
MYTH: It is better to remove wisdom teeth because they usually cause problems.
TRUTH: Do not extract your wisdom teeth until you have started having real problems with them.
MYTH: Good dental health can be inherited.
TRUTH: Such factor as inheritance plays minor role for good dental health of people. The main rules are to maintain proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.
MYTH: Eating a lot of chocolate brings to tooth decay.
TRUTH: No, it does not, but if you do not brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth every time after eating chocolate, you are at much higher risk to get tooth decay.
MYTH: Eating too hot or too cold meals can harm my teeth.
TRUTH: Only regular eating too hot or too cold meals can be harmful for your teeth and dental nerves.
MYTH: Using toothpicks after meals can widen the gaps between my teeth.
TRUTH: Using usual toothpicks can not have such effects, but you must be very careful when using toothpicks because they can damage the gums and other soft tissues in your mouth.
MYTH: Teeth whitening is harmful as it can damage the enamel.
TRUTH: Modern methods of teeth whitening, including laser teeth whitening or Air Flow technique, have minimal harmful effects. Nevertheless, one must remember that teeth whitening can not be recommended for many people, especially for those who has sensitive teeth, problematic enamel, underdeveloped tooth tissues, as well as for pregnant and nursing women.
MYTH: After any bleaching procedure teeth do not remain shining white for long time.
TRUTH: In average, the effect can last for about a year or so, but after every following bleaching procedure the duration of the effects usually decreases.
MYTH: It is not harmful to whiten your teeth with usual sodium bicarbonate.
TRUTH: It is, actually, very harmful, because sodium bicarbonate we use for baking has very strong abrasive effects. If you want to whiten your teeth in an easy way, use special whitening toothpastes with bicarbonate. Such toothpastes contain much smaller particles of bicarbonate and they do not damage teeth that much.
MYTH: There is no need in taking care about the teeth of my baby because in some years they are going to fall out.
TRUTH: This is absolutely wrong from a variety of perspectives. First of all, if you do not take care about premature teeth, they may fall out before the time and cause problems with bite or improper development of your child’s permanent teeth. Besides, it is necessary to start educating your children to maintain good dental and oral hygiene since early childhood.
MYTH: It is necessary to avoid dental procedures during pregnancy.
TRUTH: Regular dental treatment must not be avoided by pregnant women, but there is a number of procedures, such as X-rays or surgical dental procedures, which must be postponed for pregnant women.
MYTH: Any type of dental treatment is very painful.
TRUTH: Not anymore. Advanced dental technologies allow making dental treatment not painful by using anesthetic agents.
Posted: June 21st, 2008 under Dental Care for Every Day.