Dental hygiene is an important part of overall health, but there are many myths and misconceptions about keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Here are some of the most common dental myths and the truth behind them:
Myth 1: You only need to brush your teeth after meals.
Truth: You should brush your teeth before bed and when you wake up, even if you haven’t eaten anything. This helps to remove plaque and bacteria that build up overnight. Brushing day and night with a fluoride toothpaste can cut the risk of tooth decay for children by 50%.
Myth 2: Flossing is not necessary.
Truth: Flossing is an essential part of good dental hygiene. It removes plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. A meta-analysis found that flossing reduced the risk of interproximal caries (cavities between teeth) by 40% compared to brushing alone. Flossing once a day is recommended.
Myth 3: Pregnant women should not visit the dentist.
Truth: It is crucial for pregnant women to see the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Study suggests women who did not receive dental care during pregnancy were 15% more likely to experience preterm delivery. Pregnancy can make women more susceptible to gum disease or other complications, so taking extra care of their teeth and gums is vital during this time.
Myth 4: Baby teeth are not important.
Truth: Baby teeth are essential for chewing, speaking, and holding space for permanent teeth. It is important to take care of baby teeth and prevent cavities, just as you would with permanent teeth.
Myth 5: White teeth are healthy teeth.
Truth: Teeth can become discolored for various reasons, such as smoking, drinking coffee and tea, and aging. While white teeth are often considered more attractive, they are not necessarily healthier than teeth with a natural yellow tint.
Myth 6: You can fix a cavity with a filling or crown.
Truth: Fillings and crowns can repair cavities and restore damaged teeth, but they do not prevent future cavities. It is important to continue practicing good dental hygiene to prevent cavities from forming in the first place.
Myth 7: Wisdom teeth should always be removed.
Truth: Wisdom teeth do not need to be removed unless they are causing problems, such as crowding, pain, or infection. If you have wisdom teeth, your dentist will monitor them for any signs of trouble and recommend removal if necessary.
Myth 8: If you don’t have dental insurance, you can’t afford dental care.
Truth: There are many ways to get affordable dental care, even if you don’t have dental insurance. Many dentists offer payment plans and discounts for patients without insurance. There are also government programs and nonprofit organizations that can help you pay for dental care.
Myth 9: Dental X-rays are dangerous
Truth: X-rays are both safe and beneficial for your dental health to identify any posing dental issues before hand. The amount of radiation you are exposed to during a dental x-ray is limited and safe in approved doses, such as during your dentist appointment. ADA states, Dental X-rays contribute as low as 2.5% of the total radiation exposure from medical X-ray procedures.
Myth 10: You should avoid brushing your teeth if your gums are bleeding
Truth: Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and infection, which can be caused by poor oral hygiene, hormonal changes, medications, or systemic diseases. Brushing your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste can help reduce the bleeding and prevent further damage to your gums.
It is always important to ask and clarify your dental concerns with a professional dentist. We at Bravo! Dental can help you develop a good oral hygiene routine and answer any concerns or doubts regarding your oral health.
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