10 Common Dental Myths and The Truth Behind Them
Dentistry has been a popular profession for hundreds of years, and many myths have been born along the way. Today’s society relies on the media for their knowledge about health problems and how to cure them, which explains why many people still believe in these myths.
This article is written by a dental professional at Paragon Dental Clinic, dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information to empower you with the right knowledge about oral health.
Here are the most popular myths about oral health and dentistry and what’s really the truth behind them.
- Myth 1: Sugar is the main cause of cavities
- Myth 2: Brushing your teeth harder and more often is better for your oral health
- Myth 3: If it doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to go to the dentist yet
- Myth 4: If a baby’s teeth fall out, it is nothing to worry about, as they will grow back later on
- Myth 5: You should avoid going to the dentist during pregnancy
- Myth 6: If your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, you should stop
- Myth 7: Brushing and flossing can reverse cavities
- Myth 8: Root canal treatment is extremely painful
- Myth 9: Braces are only for children and teenagers
- Myth 10: If a tooth hurts, it needs to be pulled out
Myth 1: Sugar is the main cause of cavities
Fact: While sugar consumption can contribute to tooth decay, cavities are actually caused by a combination of factors. When you consume sugar, the bacteria in your mouth also eat it and produce acid. This acid then attacks your teeth, leading to cavity formation.
The shape of your teeth also matters. Teeth with deep grooves or pits on their chewing surfaces can trap food particles, creating an environment for bacteria to thrive. This increases acid production and the risk of tooth decay.
Furthermore, the frequency of sugar consumption plays a role. The more frequently you consume sugary items, the longer your teeth are exposed to acid, increasing the likelihood of cavities.
Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day, especially at night, when saliva production decreases, helps remove food particles, reduce bacteria growth, and minimize acid production. Limiting sugary snacks and drinks in your diet also lowers the risk of cavities.
Myth 2: Brushing your teeth harder and more often is better for your oral health
Fact: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can actually damage your tooth and gums. It has a similar effect as scrubbing a delicate surface with a rough sponge. Just as the rough sponge can scratch and damage the surface, the hard bristles of a toothbrush can harm your teeth and gums over time. It’s important to brush gently and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid harming your teeth and gums.
Myth 3: If it doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to go to the dentist yet
Fact: Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can detect early signs of dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer, even if you are not experiencing any pain or visible issues.
So, it is very important to visit your dentist at least every 6 months to monitor your oral health.
Myth 4: If a baby’s teeth fall out, it is nothing to worry about, as they will grow back later on
Fact: Baby teeth (milk teeth) play a crucial role in speech development, proper chewing, and holding space for permanent teeth. Without the baby teeth to hold the space, the surrounding teeth can start to shift and move into the empty area. This may cause some permanent teeth to trap under the jaw forever. This can result in oral health problems down the line.
Myth 5: You should avoid going to the dentist during pregnancy
Fact: There are some parts of the world where it is still believed that a pregnant woman shouldn’t brush her teeth, let alone go to a dentist. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease, so it’s crucial to continue receiving dental care while pregnant. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are safe during pregnancy and are important for maintaining oral health.
Myth 6: If your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, you should stop.
Fact: Bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease, which requires attention and treatment. Continuing to brush and floss gently, along with regular dental cleanings, can help improve gum health and reduce bleeding over time.
Myth 7: Brushing and flossing can reverse cavities
Fact: Once a cavity forms, it cannot be reversed through brushing and flossing alone. The reason is that the tooth is the only body part that cannot regenerate or heal itself once damaged. Good oral hygiene practices can help prevent further decay and maintain overall oral health, but cavities require professional dental treatment, such as fillings or dental restorations.
Myth 8: Root canal treatment is extremely painful
Fact: Root canal treatment is nothing to fear as the entire procedure is performed under anesthesia. The tooth being treated is numbed, ensuring that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Additionally, if you experience any discomfort afterward, your dentist prescribes you pain medications to help alleviate it.
Myth 9: Braces are only for children and teenagers
Fact: Orthodontic treatment (treatment done to change your teeth’ alignment) is not limited to a specific age group. Many adults undergo orthodontic treatment to correct misaligned teeth or bite issues. Options like clear aligners, also known as Invisalign, have made orthodontic treatment more accessible and discreet for adults who wish to straighten their teeth.
Take a look at Cristiano Ronaldo‘s smile transformation over the years. By comparing his earlier pictures to recent ones, you can clearly see that he has undergone dental treatments to enhance the appearance of his teeth.
Myth 10: If a tooth hurts, it needs to be pulled out
Fact: There are various reasons why a tooth may be causing discomfort, such as dental decay, gum disease, or sensitivity. Your dentist will evaluate the underlying cause of the pain and explore appropriate treatment options to alleviate the discomfort and preserve the natural tooth whenever possible. Extraction is typically considered as a last resort when other treatments are ineffective or when the tooth is extensively damaged.
In conclusion, debunking common myths about dentistry is crucial for promoting accurate oral health information and ensuring individuals make informed decisions about their dental care. By dispelling these myths, we can pave the way for better oral hygiene practices and improved overall health.
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Call us now for an appointment at (209) 548-0100, or come by our clinic at Paragon Dental, 1108 Oakdale Road, Suite A, Modesto, California 95355.
At Paragon Dental, we strive to provide high-quality dental care to our patients. If you’re experiencing any dental issues, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.
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