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Common Dental Myths and Misconceptions People Should Stop Believing in

Visiting a Dentist is generally considered akin to asking the feeble minded to see a horror movie numerous myths have been woven around this very critical body of dentistry/ oral healthcare which is unfortunately the most neglected and misunderstood amongst all. The good news is that all myths about dentistry will be quelled once you read on:

Myth 1: Brushing Harder Cleans Better

The truth: Regular brushing is a good oral health practice, but it doesn’t clean your teeth more thoroughly and it doesn’t make your teeth white. In fact, brushing your teeth too hard puts you at an even greater risk of damaging your enamel and exposing your teeth to cavities or sensitivity issues. Brushing harder is counterproductive. The harder you brush, the more trauma the tooth enamel and gum tissue endure. It can eventually lead to other problems such as gum recession. Brush gently for two minutes, twice daily with a soft-bristled brush.

Myth 2: Flossing creates spaces between your teeth.

The truth: Flossing prevents tooth decay between your teeth, it does not create spaces between them. When flossing, you remove food debris around your gums and teeth, and by removing the harmful bacteria you keep your mouth healthy. If you skip flossing, plaques easily build up in between your teeth and along your gum line. This increases your risk of developing cavities and gum diseases. Toothbrushes cannot reach food debris in-between the teeth, and flossing is the only way to remove trapped food. In other words, flossing completes your brushing routine. When you start flossing your teeth, you might experience bleedings gums, but a few weeks into the routine the bleeding will go away. If the bleeding continues to happen, you might have a more severe case of gum disease and we recommend making an appointment at the dentist. Your dentist will help you determine the reason and develop a treatment plan.

Myth 3: Dental X-Rays Are Dangerous

The truth:Are you wondering if dental x-rays are safe? The simple answer is YES. They’re safe and very beneficial for your oral health, both short-term and long-term. Contrary to popular belief, radiation is safe in approved doses, such as during your dentist appointment. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to during a dental x-ray is minimal, and safety procedures ensure that you are never exposed in a way that would cause health issues.

Myth 4: You Only Need to Go to the Dentist if Your Teeth Hurt.

The truth:You might be aware of the saying “prevention is better than cure.” What is relatively less heard of is that diagnosing and curing a tooth problem at an earlier stage is much easier and cost-effective than if it were to be addressed later.Even if you aren’t experiencing dental pain, we recommend seeing a dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and exams. Some dental issues are asymptomatic but can still cause infection and need treatment. If you were to wait too long, the treatment needed may be more expensive than if the disease were caught before it worsened. Also, the tooth has a lesser chance of being saved at a later point in time. Altogether, prevention saves you both time and money in the long-run.

Myth 5: Oral Health is Not Connected to the Rest of the Body.

The truth: Your oral health is connected to your systemic (overall) health and there are many correlations between your mouth and body. A mouth with severe tooth decay and periodontal disease is more likely to cause bacteria to enter into the bloodstream and result in other health issues. Studies have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Learn more in our blog post about oral health and heart health.

Myth 6: No Pain – No Need for a Dentist

The truth: Waiting until you feel like you need to see the dentist is arguably the biggest dental misconception. People often wait until they experience pain before they feel the urge to schedule an appointment. Certain dental problems such as cavities and gum disease do not present with tooth pain until it’s too late. By the time dental problems start presenting with pain, the damage may already be extensive and costly as well. These serious dental issues can be prevented through regular dental visits and proper care. Many people don’t visit the dentist until they don’t feel pain. People should visit the dentist twice a year for regular checkups. During such times, the dentist can help with the developing issues. However, several people only seek a dentist when they start feeling pain or discomfort in the mouth. Thus, these myths and misconceptions should not be believed and people should take proper care of oral health.

Myth 7: Charcoal Toothpaste is the Best Choice

The truth: In the dental industry, charcoal containing toothpaste is a new trend set. It helps in making the teeth more white. It is partially true because charcoal is a mild abrasive. It helps in taking off the upper surface stains on the teeth. It acts similarly to baking soda. However, charcoal being an absorbent chemical can cause a few problems as well. While brushing the teeth, it can absorb several essential nutrients from the mouth.

Myth 8: Chewing Gum Works Like Brushing

The truth: Chewing gum is not a replacement for brushing your teeth. Some chewing gums can promote cleaner teeth and better breath, and some dentists even recommend the sugar-free varieties to chew on instead of candy. However, while some chewing gums serve as aids to oral health, they still don’t reach the level of being able to replace brushing your teeth.

Myth 9: Bleaching is Bad for Your Teeth

The truth: In the early days of tooth whitening, patients often considered bleaching to be harmful to their teeth. Since the acidic nature of bleaching would dissolve the protective enamel, your teeth can be left vulnerable to all types of cavities and tooth decay. However, this is not the case anymore. Dentists are now using safe and non-acidic bleaching methods to help whiten your teeth making modern teeth whitening safe and effective.

Myth 10: White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth.

The truth: It is a common misconception that teeth that are pearly white are healthy. People don’t have the same natural color for their teeth, so having white teeth isn’t the standard for good oral health. Natural tooth color varies in lightness and is especially dependent on our age. It doesn’t mean that a person has better oral hygiene if they have whiter teeth than another. Primary indications of good oral health are zero cavity and fresh breath.

Dr Kamal Odedra

Dr. Kamal Odedra is the leading Endodontist in Rajkot and Porbandar, India with over 11 years of clinical experience in advanced endodontic treatments. His specialty includes Microscopic Endodontics, Cosmetic, aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry.