Almost everyone you know has some type of opinion about health and wellness, including your oral health. “Whiten your teeth naturally with peroxide.” “Take probiotics.” “Oral bacteria only affects your teeth.” And more. Some of this advice can help, and some can harm. To help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to your oral health, we put together 10 popular dental myths.
10 Myths About Teeth
1. Myth: The more (or harder) you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be.
Actually, over-brushing is a genuine issue, and it can do more harm than good. Aggressive brushing techniques can wear down the enamel on your teeth—which does not grow back once it’s gone. The same goes for brushing too often. Stick to the two-two-two rule, which advises you to brush twice a day for two minutes and visit your dentist twice a year.
2. Myth: Chewing sugar-free gum is the same as brushing your teeth.
While sugar-free gum is a great tool in your arsenal of tooth maintenance products, it does not replace brushing, flossing, and rinsing—which should be done at least once a day. Instead, chew a stick of sugar-free gum after lunch, when you know you won’t get around to your toothbrush until later in the evening.
3. Myth: Beauty salon whitening treatments are the same as visiting your dentist.
Teeth whitening is a great way to lift surface stains off your teeth caused by things like coffee, general yellowing, and tobacco. However, if not done properly, it can cause damage and increase sensitivity in your teeth and gums.
4. Myth: Pregnant women can’t see a dentist.
Avoiding your dentist while carrying a child is not a good idea. In fact, you should be seeing your dental health professional more often during pregnancy, as you are more susceptible to bacteria developing in your mouth and potentially causing other health complications.
5. Myth: Flossing isn’t necessary (or: if you wash your mouth, you don’t need to floss).
Flossing was recently removed from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but according to dentists, it is still one of the most important aspects of your oral health routine. While brushing is a great way to remove plaque build-up from your enamel, flossing helps to dislodge any food particles from hard-to-reach areas between your teeth.
6. Myth: Only sugar causes cavities.
While sugar is definitely a major culprit when it comes to cavities, there are plenty of other food products that can erode your enamel and eventually lead to tooth decay. Carbohydrates, for example, and similar starches, can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums and help contribute to the development of cavities.
7. Myth: Bad breath automatically equals poor hygiene.
Actually, bad breath can be a side effect of various different health complications. In some cases, this can be an indicator of yeast issues, respiratory diseases, or dry mouth. While halitosis can occur if you don’t take care of your teeth, it can also reveal more serious issues in the mouth.
8. Myth: All dental treatments are painful.
At Dr. Farless’s office, our dental team views patient comfort as of the utmost importance. While some procedures can be a little uncomfortable, we strive to offer patients options that can help to minimize any pain or discomfort they may feel.
9. Myth: The whiter your teeth, the more healthy they must be.
Teeth are naturally white. Over the years, they can be exposed to foods, drinks, or other factors that can stain them. Additionally, the enamel starts to wear away, and it can reveal the dentin underneath the teeth. While whiter teeth might sometimes mean a healthy mouth, it’s not directly correlated.
10. Myth: Stress can’t cause dental issues.
Stress can seriously impact your health! Not only can stress affect your mental and physical wellbeing, but it can also cause wear and tear to your jaw. High levels of stress can eventually lead to things like gum disease and other potentially harmful issues.
Visit Your Dentist, and Brush Your Teeth
All in all, the best advice you will ever get regarding your teeth comes directly from your dentist. In between visits, be sure to keep up with an everyday dental health routine that involves brushing, flossing, rinsing, and cleaning your tongue. While there are some life hacks that may help you maintain your oral health easily, remember that there are no shortcuts when it comes to proper oral hygiene. If you’re behind on your dentist visits, contact us today! Graham E. Farless, D.D.S. offers patients a wide range of dental health services.