Eight Myths About Dental Health Debunked
by Vanessa James
When it comes to dental health, everyone is well aware of the importance of brushing their teeth on a regular basis. Everyone is also well aware of the permanent problems that can be caused by failing to do so.
When it comes to other matters of dental health however, there tends to be a little more confusion.
Between misunderstandings and misinformation, the prevalence of myths on the topic is surprisingly high.
If you’d like to keep your teeth shiny and white, here are eight popular dental health myths that you’d be wise to ignore.
1) Pregnant Women Should Avoid Dental Visits
Unfortunately, getting pregnant is not a good excuse for skipping a dental appointment. If you are pregnant, it is important to inform your dentist however as there are some procedures that you cannot have done. These include amalgam removal and the use of certain antibiotics.
Cleanings, fillings and local anesthetics are all perfectly harmless. In fact, even x-rays are considered okay provided they are genuinely necessary.
2) The More You Brush the Better
Increasing the amount of time that you spend brushing your teeth will only benefit them if you’re not currently brushing them enough.
If you’re already brushing your teeth the recommended amount (two minutes, twice a day), brushing them more is actually likely to do more harm than good.
This is because toothpaste is a form of abrasive and over brushing can therefore wear your teeth down.
3) Children Don’t Need to Go to the Dentist Until They Get Their Second Teeth
While damage to a child’s primary teeth might not be a permanent problem, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be painful. It’s also very common for children who go to the dentist later in life to have picked up quite a few poor dental hygiene habits.
Because of these reasons, parents are advised to bring their children to the dentist before they reach their third birthday. Permanent teeth don’t usually arrive until a child reaches six.
4) You Take a Break from Brushing if Your Gums are Bleeding
Unfortunately, taking a break from brushing is likely to make your bleeding gums worse. This is because bleeding gums are typically caused by plaque build up, which is in turn caused by not brushing frequently enough.
The only way that brushing your teeth can make bleeding gums worse is if you are brushing your teeth too hard or with a brush with hard bristles. For best results, always brush your teeth gently and with a soft bristled brush.
5) When a Dentist Sees Spotless Teeth, He Assumes You Take Care of Your Teeth
It’s very common for people who don’t take good care of their teeth to try to hide this fact from the dentist by cleaning their teeth excessively before they visit the dentist.
Unfortunately, poor dental hygiene leads to red, swollen gums and there’s no amount of brushing that can hide them. Dentists can therefore always tell when a patient doesn’t take care of his/her teeth.
6) Dental X-rays Are Unnecessary
Dental x-rays might be pretty expensive but unfortunately, they are often very much required. Dental x-rays are the only way to spot decay and other problems below the surface of your teeth. And such problems, when left untreated, can have major long term implications.
It’s also worth noting that the amount of radiation given off by dental x-rays is minimal. Unless you plan on getting your mouth x-rayed frequently, it’s nothing to be concerned about. However, you do need to be aware of the dangers of frequent dental x-rays and ask whether the x-ray is necessary.
7) Teeth Whitening is Bad for Your Teeth
The dangers of whitening your own teeth are debatable. But provided you visit a dentist, the procedure is perfectly safe and completely harmless.
Contrary to popular belief, getting your teeth whitened does not damage their enamel. The only negative side effect of teeth whitening is that it can lead to more sensitive teeth and occasionally redder gums. Both of these side effects however, are temporary.
You can also naturally whiten your teeth with these tips.
8) If You Brush Your Teeth Properly, You Don’t Need to Floss.
Flossing mightn’t be very much fun but unfortunately, if you want plaque free teeth, it’s essential. Regardless of what toothbrush you use, or how often you use it, brushing alone can only clean around seventy percent of the surface of your teeth.
This means that if you fail to flush, plaque is going to gradually build up. It’s also worth noting that flossing your teeth shouldn’t be painful. If it is, it means that you’re doing it wrong.
(This guest post is written by Vanessa James. Vanessa believes that a healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand. Her last blog was about cosmetic and general dentistry.)