In a world where answers can be just a click away, it is important to know how to sort out the worthwhile information. There are many myths floating around regarding dentistry and oral health care. Some of these false ideas are listed below, and dispelled.
Myth: I shouldn’t brush my teeth if my gums are bleeding. On the contrary, bleeding gums are often caused by plaque or debris that was not cleared by brushing and flossing. Continue regular oral care and the bleeding may stop on its own. See your dentist if the bleeding continues because there may be another underlying cause.
Myth: I don’t have to worry about my dental health because my parents had healthy gums and teeth. Genetics play a small role in your dental health, but ultimately your decisions about your oral health affect you a lot more than your genetics. The health of your teeth and gums is up to you.
Myth: I don’t have to see the dentist because my teeth look fine and I don’t feel any pain. Visually unhealthy teeth and teeth that are in pain generally have been having problems for a while. When you see your dentist regularly and catch problems early, you will have a higher likelihood of saving your teeth and saving yourself some money, as well.
Myth: Chewing gum is bad for your teeth. This one could easily be turned into a fact if it mentioned chewing sugary gum, but chewing sugar-free gum can actually be beneficial to teeth. Chewing gum increases saliva, which helps neutralize acid and is helpful in keeping your mouth healthy. Gum can also help remove debris and freshen your breath after eating meals.
Myth: Fluoride is unsafe. It has actually been proven that people in areas with fluoride in the water have 50-70 percent less tooth decay. Rumor has it that fluoride is connected to heart disease, allergies, and genetic abnormalities. Numerous studies have refuted the claims that fluoride in drinking water is related to these problems. The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are both strong advocates for fluoridated water.
Myth: More sugar means more tooth decay. Sugar does indeed raise the level of acidity in your mouth, which leads to tooth decay, but the problem isn’t the amount of sugar. The problem relates to the amount of time the sugar spends on your pearly whites. Foods such as slow-dissolving candies and soda are especially harmful because they spend more time in direct contact with your teeth.
Myth: Drinking soda is fine as long as it is diet soda. It is true that diet soda does not contain sugar, but it does contain massive amounts of acid. Acid can weaken the tooth enamel, creating more of a risk of tooth decay.
Myth: Smoking can discolor my teeth, but there are no other effects. It can be pretty obvious that smoking causes tooth discoloration, but did you know that smokers have more tooth decay, periodontal disease, and risk of oral cancer than non-smokers?
May your holidays be filled with happiness and fresh, clean breath!