There are quite a few dental myths out there. It’s impossible to say how these myths started or who started them, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who believe come to believe them.
In fact, chances are you may also believe some of these myths to be true. Luckily, some myths are somewhat harmless. But there are other myths that could harm you. In the case of the latter, ignorance isn’t bliss. It can cost you not just money, but significant pain and discomfort.
If you care about your teeth and oral health — and everyone should considering that studies have showed a linkage between poor oral hygiene and heart-related diseases — then the following are some of the myths that you need to forget starting today.
Myth 1 – Sugar Causes Cavities
You probably think same, don’t you? Well, the truth is, it’s not the sugar that causes the decay per se. It’s the acid that’s produced in the mouth when you consume foods with high sugar content.
When these acids stay in the mouth for longer than they should, they start eating away at or corroding your teeth, resulting in tooth decay. So, if you must eat sugary foods, do so in a short time. For instance, it’s better to drink your soda within 30 minutes, than to sip from a liter of soda all day. Better still, drink a glass of water immediately afterward.
Myth 2 – Bleeding Gums? Brush Less
Many people think bleeding gums are an indication that they need to brush their teeth less and let the gums heal. While it may sound counterintuitive, this is not true. You see, bleeding gums are usually a sign of something deeper than brushing — that’s assuming you don’t brush your teeth like you’re scrubbing a carpet. If you brush your teeth normally, there should be no bleeding.
Bleeding gums are usually caused by plaque or food particles lodged at the gum line. This often results in bacterial infections and cause bleeding when you brush your teeth. To get rid of this, you actually need to brush and floss your teeth more frequently until it stops.
Myth 3 – Teeth Whitening Procedures Weaken Your Teeth
This tends to not be true with the majority of products you might use to whiten your teeth. At least, as long as you’re not using industrial strength bleach or something similarly extreme. Most teeth whitening products and procedures are designed to have little or no side effects whilst whitening your teeth effectively.
Excessive bleaching however, will cause tooth sensitivity. So, as long as you use the tooth whitening products in moderations and only do the procedures at the right time, you will be fine. The packaging, itself, should give you a good indication of how to use a given product, but there is never any substitute for the advice of your dentist.
Myth 4 – My Teeth Feel Okay, I Don’t Need the Dentist
Really? It’s like saying there’s no need to check out the suspicious looking mole because it isn’t painful to the touch. While you don’t need to take up residency with your local dentist, you should still see them at least twice a year, even if you don’t know of anything being amiss.
After all, it does sound good to get a clean bill of health. However, periodic visits to the dentist can help you spot or identify medical conditions before they become difficult to treat. If you’ve fallen victim to this particular myth, do yourself a favor and schedule a checkup with a qualified dentist in your area, such as Premier Smile Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Myth 5 – You Should Brush Immediately After Meals
Apart from the fact that most people’s busy schedule don’t allow for this, there’s also the added disadvantage of weakening your enamel.
You see, when you eat, there’s a whole biochemical process that results in the production of acids whose primary function is to aid digestion and the breakdown of food, but also softens the enamel while it’s doing its functions.
These acids are often in the mouth for at least 15 minutes after you’re done eating. Brushing immediately after meals means that the softened enamel is further weakened, leaving your teeth unprotected and causing extreme tooth sensitivity. It’s better to wait about at least 30 minutes after eating, enough time for the acids in your mouth to dissipate.
Oscar King is a freelance writer and family man who contributes articles and insights into issues affecting health, children, and life in the home.