Have you heard a dental myth lately that you just weren’t sure about? These myths can be dangerous, especially if they’re spreading false information about dental hygiene and other serious issues. We hear these myths all the time too, and when our patients ask us about them we get a little concerned that the right information isn’t circulating!
We’re going to talk about some of the myths that we’ve heard so you can have a better understanding of oral health. We want you have the best care and information available! If you hear something about oral health that you aren’t sure about, make sure you address it during your next hygiene appointment. We’re happy to answer any and all questions you may have and help you be the picture of oral health!
Myth 1: White Teeth Are Heathy Teeth
People often associate their porcelain-white smile with optimal health. While white teeth can be esthetically pleasing, they don’t necessarily indicate a clean bill of dental health for the patient.
This is not to say that white teeth can’t be perfectly healthy—they absolutely can! They just aren’t the only measure of oral health. Teeth begin to discolour or yellow slightly as you age, but this doesn’t mean they stop being healthy or that your oral health has declined. Remember that even if you have a white smile, it’s important to attend regular hygiene appointments so your gums and jawbone can also be closely monitored and your teeth can be cleaned on a regular basis.
Myth 2: You Only Need to Go to the Dentist if You’re in Pain
While you absolutely should pay a visit to the dentist if you’re experiencing any pain, discomfort, or anything abnormal, this isn’t the only situation that calls for an appointment!
It’s far easier and more convenient to prevent any dental irregularities or oral health issues than it is to treat them, so regular visits to your dentist should be an important part of your routine. Even if you’ve never noticed anything wrong, some symptoms will never present themselves to the untrained eye. Your dentist will not only clean your teeth at these appointments, but perform a thorough examination to ensure you’re completely healthy! Through the use of X-rays and other advanced technology that specialists can get their hands on, they’ll be able to detect even the slightest issue that may threaten your oral health in the future.
If you wait too long to go to the dentist and are experiencing underlying conditions or infections, they can persist to the point where they may become expensive and complicated to fix. Visiting your dentist and taking these preventative steps will save you time, ease your mind, and may even save you money down the road!
Myth 3: Flossing Creates Spaces Between Your Teeth
Flossing doesn’t increase the space between your teeth, rather, it dislodges any debris and helps to prevent plaque and tartar building up between your teeth. Flossing should be done once per day in conjunction with brushing in order to have the best dental hygiene possible.
If you’re experiencing difficulty with flossing, this may be due to build up that already exists between your teeth. Visiting your dentist once every six months will help to ensure that this build up is removed, and your teeth are properly cleaned in order to prevent it.
Flossing may also cause a little bleeding, especially when you first start. The bleeding may persist for a few weeks as your teeth and gums adjust to the new normal. If the bleeding does continue beyond just a few weeks, make sure you bring it up to your dentist at your next visit so they can examine you.
The bottom line is that flossing is nothing but helpful to the state of your oral health, and doing so regularly won’t cause you any harm!
Myth 4: It Doesn’t Matter When You Brush Your Teeth
Surprisingly enough, the time of day you choose to brush your teeth actually does matter! Your saliva production decreases at night when you sleep, and the lack of flow allows forgotten debris to linger. During the day, the regular flow of saliva has a cleansing effect that helps to keep our oral health intact. This means that one of the best times to brush and floss your teeth is right before you go to bed.
When you don’t brush your teeth before bed, food particles remain on and between your teeth and often contribute to tooth decay if it becomes a frequent habit. As important as it is to brush before you go to sleep, it’s also important to brush in the morning before you begin your day. This is good for preventing halitosis and preventing the possibility of decay. It’s also just a great way to begin your morning!
Myth 5: The Harder You Brush, the Cleaner Your Teeth Will Be
It seems to make sense: if you scrub hard at your teeth, in theory it should remove any excess build up, hardened plaque, or tartar. The truth is, brushing too hard can actually wreak havoc on your gums, and even cause them to recede over time.
Gum recession can be treated very effectively if caught in time, but if left to persist can cause tooth loss at its very worst. If you notice that your teeth appear elongated, you should make an appointment with your dentist so they can assess the situation.
The bristles of your toothbrush and your chosen toothpaste are strong enough to properly clean your teeth, so try to be gentle! Brushing hard and fast may save you time in a pinch, but could end up costing you in the future.