From a young age, we’re taught to brush our teeth and floss to avoid cavities. However, a recent study by the CDC has shown that over 47% of Americans over the age of 30 are suffering from gum disease. These staggering numbers have led us to take a look at popular dentistry myths, in order to debunk them while introducing correct facts and methods that could lead to improved oral health.
Myth #1: You Should Only Go To The Dentist When There is a Problem
Just like it’s wise to see your primary care doctor regularly for checkups, it’s also critical to visit your dentist regularly for dental checkups. Even if you’re not experiencing dental pain or problems, seeing a dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help you avoid issues, like cavities, in the future. Practicing prevention through regular dental checkups, can help save time and money by catching any issues, infections or diseases sooner rather than later.
Myth #2: Kids Don’t Need to Brush Baby Teeth
Not only is it important to brush and floss baby teeth, but it is extremely important to teach little ones healthy dental hygiene at a young age. When proper dental hygiene is instilled in children, it is easier for them to maintain those good habits as they get older, and their baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth. Furthermore, when baby teeth get cavities, it needs to be taken care of right away. If cavities are not addressed swiftly, it could result in tooth loss much earlier than normal, which also leads to an unprotected space in the gum.
Myth #3: Flossing Causes Gaps Between Teeth
This myth is completely false. Not only is this saying inaccurate, but flossing actually helps prevent tooth decay between your teeth. Tooth decay is much more likely to create gaps between your teeth than flossing is!
Myth #4: Flossing is Not Necessary
Like stated above, flossing helps prevent tooth decay between your teeth. Studies have shown that only 40% of Americans floss daily. However, flossing should be a part of your daily oral health routine, as it can remove as much as 80% of the plaque on and in between your teeth.
Myth #5: It Doesn’t Matter When I Brush My Teeth
The time of day you brush your teeth actually has a major impact on your oral health. Brushing your teeth at night before you go to bed and first thing in the morning when you wake up can help fight tooth decay and bad breath. In addition, dentists also recommend brushing after eating sugary food or drinks to prevent cavities.
Myth #6: Chewing Gum is a Substitute For Brushing
Chewing gum is 100% NOT a replacement for brushing your teeth! While some chewing gum does promote healthier oral health and better breath, it is not a substitute for brushing and flossing away plaque and bacteria.
Myth #7: Diet Sodas Are Better For My Teeth
While diet sodas do lack sugar, they are still highly acidic. The acid in diet soda can eat away at the tooth enamel, causing tooth sensitivity. Fruit juices are also highly acidic and can cause these same issues.
Myth #8: Bleeding Gums are Normal
If your gums are bleeding during brushing or flossing, then this is probably because your gums are inflamed. What this means is that you could have an excessive plaque buildup, gingivitis, or gum disease. If you have bleeding gums, it’s smart to get checked out by a dentist.
Myth #9: Gum Disease Is Only a Concern For Your Mouth
Did you know that bacteria from gum disease can enter your bloodstream and cause issues throughout your entire body? Gum disease has even been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer.
If you are experiencing dental issues or are searching for a new family dentist, Temple Family Dentistry would love to assist you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Temple Family Dentistry by filling out the contact form below.
Temple Family Dentistry is a private dentistry practice that has been servicing the Temple, PA community for several decades. We pride ourselves on making our patients feel at home in our dentist’s office from the moment they walk through our doors. Dr. Dan and his team provide much more than basic dental care. In addition to your bi-annual cleanings, we also offer extractions, root canals, dental implants, dentures, and more, based on your individualized treatment plan. You will never feel like a number here, and we are happy to take the time needed to answer your questions and ensure your satisfaction. For your convenience, we offer flexible hours and accept same-day appointments for dental emergencies.