Dentistry Myths Holding You Back

Misinformation may be holding you back from seeking the dental services you want and need. Here are some of dentistry’s most bogus myths followed by facts that will empower you to get the care you deserve for happy, healthy teeth.

Myth #1: My dentist will think I’m vain if I want to improve my smile’s appearance.

Though being honest about how you really want your smile to look can make you feel vulnerable and scared, dental professionals will never judge you for wanting to improve the appearance of your gums or teeth. Self-confidence is a crucial component of mental and emotional well-being, and for most Americans, having good oral health and an attractive smile top the list of what makes them feel confident every day.

Fact: We’re actually honored to help you achieve a smile that bolsters your confidence and well-being. And we can fully relate to your desire to improve your smile’s appearance—we want that for ourselves, too

Myth #2: Veneers will make my teeth look fake.

As they can address discolored, uneven, chipped, or unevenly spaced teeth, porcelain veneers are the everyday hero of cosmetic dentistry. While veneers can be used to brighten your smile, you don’t have to go bleach-white when choosing the shade of your veneers. With over a dozen tooth-colored shades to consider, you can choose a veneer color that harmonizes with your desired appearance, skin tone, and age.

Fact: Porcelain veneers are versatile and customizable, coming in a variety of natural-looking shades. As they are custom-made to fit precisely on your individual teeth, porcelain veneers look completely natural and are indistinguishable from your natural teeth.    

Myth #3: It’s normal if my gums bleed and swell after brushing or flossing.

In most cases, redness, bleeding, and swelling are your body’s way of letting you know something is not okay. While some bleeding and swelling can be expected after changing your oral care regimen or switching to a new product, gums that regularly turn red, swell, and bleed may be a sign that you have an oral health issue that requires treatment. Red, bleeding, or swollen gums can be a sign of plaque buildup along the gumline, gingivitis, or periodontal disease—all of which can lead to more serious complications if left untreated.

Fact: Healthy gums are pink, firm, textured, and don’t swell and bleed regularly. Your gums are an essential structure for your smile’s health and appearance. If you have any concerns about your gums, contact your dentist ASAP.    

Myth #4: Only smokers get oral cancer.

Over 51,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancers of the mouth or throat each year. While smoking is undoubtedly a risk factor for oral cancer, it’s not the only one. Other factors can also increase your risk of oral cancer, such as other forms of tobacco use, poor nutrition, a weakened immune system, HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection, and heavy drinking (two or more drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women). The risk of oral cancers is higher for people who smoke and drink.

Fact: Oral cancer, which may be caused by numerous factors, is best treated when caught early. As your family’s primary oral healthcare provider, your dentist routinely evaluates your oral health and offers this potentially life-saving screening as part of your regular oral health exam.   

Myth #5: Dental X-rays will expose me to harmful radiation.

Radiation exposure from traditional dental X-rays is extremely low. To put it in perspective, radiation exposure from traditional dental X-rays is about the same as radiation exposure from taking a short, two-hour airplane flight.    

Though the radiation exposure from dental X-rays is considered safe, you can limit your exposure even further by working with a dentist who offers digital X-rays. In addition to reducing your exposure to radiation, digital X-rays create detailed imaging that is immediately available for your dentist to view and can be easily archived for later use.

Fact: Dental X-rays are a safe and effective method for examining your mouth and diagnosing dental issues. For greater peace of mind and more efficient care, choose a dentist that offers digital X-rays.  

Myth #6: I’m too old to straighten my teeth.

No matter how old you are, crooked or misaligned teeth can zap your self-confidence and make it harder for you to keep your teeth clean. But for many adults, the idea of unsightly metal braces is just a bit too infantilizing! Thankfully, there are now more discreet options available to correct uneven spacing, overbites and underbites, overcrowding, and turned or crooked teeth—no matter what age you are.

Fact: You are never too old to straighten your teeth! And thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, such as Six-Month Smiles® and Clear Correct™, you can achieve the smile you seek without obvious metal braces and drastic orthodontic procedures.  

Myth #7: I brush and floss every day, so I don’t really need to see a dentist.

If you are among 70 percent of Americans who brush twice daily and the 30 percent who floss daily, let us be the first to say it: Well done! Though your daily diligence is guaranteed to help maintain the health and appearance of your teeth, brushing and flossing simply can’t replicate a professional exam and cleaning. In addition to removing stains and stubborn plaque buildup, your twice-annual dental exam can detect small dental issues early, like fractures and broken fillings, before they become more serious and costly.

Fact: You obviously care about your teeth! While daily brushing and flossing are essential to support the health of your gums and teeth, routine dental exams and cleanings are the only ways to ensure that you achieve your best oral health at every age.

If misinformation has caused you to fall behind on your dental visits, that’s water under the bridge. Take the right step in creating your best health by scheduling your next appointment today!  

Sources:

  • https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2016/Why-Self-Esteem-Is-Important-for-Mental-Health
  • https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/about-us/press-center/2018/national-survey–good-oral-health-outperforms-clear-skin-for-mak.html
  • https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/oral-cancer-slideshow
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  • http://www.xrayrisk.com/faq.php#q13
  • https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-02/how-many-americans-floss-their-teeth

 

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