Have you heard the news? News about dental care may be a myth that is common. Misinformation abounds, according to a study by the National Library of Medicine in the U.S. We’ve all heard the term, “fake news”; could it be part of dental disinformation as well as politics. Here are some myths that we decided to bust and to let our Pearlee Dental clients know the real truth, which is knowledge.
Myth #1 – The stronger your brushing, the cleaner your teeth will be.
Reality: When you brush too hard and use a toothbrush that is medium or firm, you actually can erode the enamel. The hard part of the tooth is a layer that protects it from decay and cavities. People tend to think that harder brushing equals cleaner teeth, but it can hurt the gums as well as wear away the enamel. Opt for a softer toothbrush to protect the teeth.
Myth #2 – It really isn’t necessary to floss anymore.
Reality – This recent myth started when the U.S. Government Dietary Guidelines removed the recommendation for daily flossing; this was because there was a lack of strong evidence for this practice. However, a lack of strong evidence does not mean that flossing regularly does not work. Most dental professionals believe in flossing for removal of plaque buildup that can only be reached with floss. Follow the recommendation of your dentist, when it comes to flossing as well as brushing.
Myth #3 – Sugar is the worst when it comes to your teeth.
Reality – although sugar and sticky sweets are bad culprits, crackers and chips may even be worse. Carbohydrates, in general, stick to the teeth because of their starch content. Those sugars break down and affect the teeth as well.
Myth #4 – You’ve been neglecting brushing and flossing, but you have a dental appointment booked. You’ll brush before you get there, and all will be well.
Reality – You can’t get away with it. Tarter may have formed without daily brushing and flossing. It can’t be undone in just a few days. If there is inflammation of your gums, it was the result of six months of neglect and can be undone before your dental visit.
Myth #5 – Sensitive teeth means that the enamel is missing.
Reality – Loss of enamel is often a cause of sensitivity. However, there can be other causes, such as the use of whitening toothpaste or the recession of your gums. With hydrogen peroxide used as an additive to whitening toothpaste, you might have your tooth enamel penetrated by this substance. In this case, a switch to a more gentle toothpaste may alleviate the sensitivity.
Myth #6 – Whiter teeth mean healthier teeth.
Reality – Sometimes this is true, but not in every case. Things that cause our naturally white teeth to darken may be unhealthy habits, such as smoking. Medications, aging and stains from food and drink may not be unhealthy and can still darken or discolour teeth.
Myth #7 – Gum disease only affects your mouth.
Reality – This is a very common myth. Your gums may reveal the health of body. In fact, hypertension and diabetes may show up in the gums. Chronic inflammation is associated with the gums. Moreover, recent studies have shown that people who had gum problems had a higher risk for stroke or heart attack.
Research is still being done, since other factors, such as lack of exercise may have the same results. Meanwhile it may be smart to have regular dental checkups on your gums as well as teeth.
Myth #8 – Mouthwash is necessary for dental health.
Reality – You really cannot rinse away bacteria that stick to the teeth. Bushing, flossing and cleanings are necessary for healthy teeth and gums. Because sticky bacteria are a type of biofilm, squirting it away with liquid does not do the trick. Mouthwash that has alcohol may increase dry mouth, which can make your breath worse. Chewing a sugar-free gum with xylitol may help you get rid of bad breath; it is a better choice than mouthwash.
Myth #9 – Natural sugars are less harmful to the teeth.
Reality – Bacteria do not discriminate. Natural sugars may appeal to them as much as sugars from a candy bar. They use the sugar to create an acid, which is what is harmful to the teeth and works in the creation of cavities. By becoming aware of the high sugars and limiting the time your teeth are exposed to them, you’ll have healthier teeth. So, go ahead and eat that grapefruit!
Myth #10 – If your teeth aren’t bothering you, you don’t need a checkup.
Reality – Many times, you do not feel pain until the situation is bad. You may not always feel the pain of cavities or gum disease. Once the pain starts, the issue has become bigger. For that reason, dental checkups are necessary. The dentist can spot the issues when they are smaller and help to fix them. You don’t want to wait until a root canal is the only way to stop the pain. Regular checkups are a method of prevention.
Are these all the dental myths? No, there may be even more, when it involves the teeth and dental health. When it comes time to book your appointment for an exam, we at Pearlee Dental Clinic in Ottawa can help you.
We are a holistic dentist in Ontario, located in downtown Ottawa at 2948 Baseline Road. With a range of dental services, we’ll give you the tools and knowledge to care for your teeth and continue to have a healthier mouth. Contact us and walk the path to better dental health.