You hear a variety of things all the time about your oral health – from friends, your family, the media, from advertisements, and more…so how do you know what to believe and what to ignore? Finally, here are answers to your questions! In this post, we separate fact from fiction and drill down on those dental myths.
Myth #1: Brushing and flossing extra well before your dental appointment will hide the fact that you haven’t been keeping up with your regular brushing and flossing habits.
Ramping up your brushing and flossing a few days before you visit the dentist doesn’t mean you can “undo” the months where your oral hygiene habits were lacking! In fact, adding in extra oral hygiene after letting it go for a while has the potential to actually inflame your gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed.
Your dentist will know your secret! There’s nothing that can substitute for regular care in between your dental visits.
Myth #2: If your gums bleed, you should stop brushing and flossing.
It turns out, the opposite is true: you don’t want to stop brushing or flossing if you notice your gum is bleeding or irritated! Plaque build-up and food debris on the teeth are the culprits behind gum bleeding. Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque build-up and food from the mouth. If the plaque build-up is too severe, getting a dental cleaning is the best choice to get the problem under control (1, 2). If your gum is bleeding abnormally or doesn’t stop, you want to let us know, too.
Myth #3: Brushing MORE will always improve the health of your teeth.
More is not better in this case—especially if you tend to brush too hard. Over-brushing your teeth can wear the enamel down due to the abrasive properties of your toothpaste. Rinsing your mouth out after eating is a safe alternative to extra brushing sessions. Using a soft bristled brush also helps avoid problems from those prone to brushing too hard (1, 2).
Myth #4: Babies don’t need to go to the dentist.
We now recommend bringing in your toddler at around 18 months. This is typically about the time when some, but not all, of their baby teeth are in. The checkup will also allow you to ask questions and get any advice on how you can continue to promote a healthy dental routine for your baby—for life!
Myth #5: Dental treatment and visits to the dentist should be avoided during pregnancy.
Very false! During pregnancy, blood flow, hormones, and often a woman’s diet will change. This can cause an increase in bacteria in your mouth, which leads to an increased likelihood for dental issues such as gingivitis, bleeding gums, or development of cavities over the course of the pregnancy.
Be sure to keep that dental check-up during pregnancy! X-rays will likely be avoided, unless absolutely necessary, but many dental procedures, including cleanings are completely safe for pregnant women and can help prevent inflammation. It’s also very important to maintain good oral health to avoid adverse effects on your developing baby (1, 5).
Myth #6: If there is no visible issue in your mouth, you don’t need to see your dentist.
Just because you can’t see a problem, doesn’t mean you should skip your regular dental checkup. Your dental cleanings and exams each year help ensure your teeth STAY healthy! It’s also important to find any dental problems early so they don’t become serious (2). Don’t forget that your dentist visit also includes oral cancer screenings, too.
Myth #7: Teeth whitening will damage your enamel.
New technology has made teeth whitening much safer! We offer it too!! You can stick with professional whitening for the safest options, and ask us any questions you have about the process (2)!
Myth #8: Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay – that’s what adult teeth are for, right?
False! Losing a baby tooth to tooth decay is not insignificant. This can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth just below the baby tooth. It could also mean the child is not developing proper dietary and dental health habits to promote healthy teeth down the line (3).
Myth #9: You’ll know when you have a cavity.
Sometimes you’ll know when you have a cavity or an issue of some kind…but many times you won’t! And by the time you can feel the discomfort of a cavity, it has probably spread to a larger area than it would have if it had been caught at a regular dental cleaning and examination (4).
Have More Questions About Your Dental Health? We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family
Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with by calling us at 865-539-1119 www.deancosmeticdentistry.com #knoxvillesmiles New Patients Welcome Dr Donnie Dean is a Mentor for Cerec – One Visit Crowns!! #knoxvillestopdentist #paitentschoicedentist