Cortney Davis, RDH
Myths of Dentistry
It’s no myth that to some dental work can be scary sometimes. Statistics show that around 12 percent of the population in the U.S. says they are anxious when it comes to visiting the dentist, and many don’t know how to take care of their oral health properly. With the overwhelming anxiety and stress build up around dentists and dental health, it’s not shocking that people may have made up or heard several dental myths over the years. People then tend to believe these myths and decide not go to the dentist regularly, rather than find out the truth. Having false information can be harmful to your health, so let’s talk about some of the common myths which you may believe yourself or have heard.
Myth #1- As long as I brush my teeth twice a day or don’t have tooth pain, I don’t need to go to the dentist.
Fact: While brushing twice a day and flossing once daily is Important, it is not enough. It is also important to get routine cleanings. During cleanings, the hygienist will clean the hard to reach areas, will make sure your gums are healthy, and will educate patients on proper home care. Dentists will also use x-rays and visual exams to make sure a patient doesn’t have any problems with their teeth or gums. Many don’t know this, but you don’t always have tooth pain when you have a tooth problem or gum disease, and if left untreated a tooth problem and unhealthy gum tissue will only get worse and lead to more serious problems. That’s why it is so important to come in for routine check-ups.
Myth #2 The dentist only wants my money
Fact: While some dental procedures and treatments can seem costly, they are completely worth it. As stated above, if dental problems are left untreated for a period, the treatment needed typically becomes more extensive which will cost more than a simple cleaning every six months. If a dentist can catch the signs of infection early, treatment will be minimal and less costly.
Myth #3 Bleaching your teeth can damage them.
Fact: Bleaching is a popular service that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster. Scientific studies have shown that using peroxide to whiten teeth is both safe and efficient. Although bleaching can cause some sensitivity when a patient is using it, bleaching gel is safe concerning damage of the structure of teeth; it merely makes teeth whiter and brighter.
Myth #4. If gums are bleeding, brushing and flossing should be avoided.
Fact: The exact opposite is true. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to remove plaque build-up which causes bleeding gums. Bleeding gums is a sign of gum brokerage, and more care actually must be done to avoid worse oral problems.
Myth #5 Baby teeth aren’t important, they will fall out anyway.
Fact: Yes, eventually all of your child’s 20 baby teeth will fall out eventually. However, many serve important functions for your child’s development. Baby teeth are known as the natural space maintainers for adult teeth and if a child loses a tooth too early due to dental problems, they could cause crowding for adult teeth. The health of your child’s baby teeth can also affect the health of their adult teeth. If you leave dental decay in a baby tooth untreated, it could eventually cause your child pain, abscesses, swelling, and affect the adult tooth developing under the baby tooth. Also, if the infection got worse it could even spread to other parts of the child’s body.
Myth #6 I shouldn’t go to the dentist because I am pregnant
Fact: A dental check-up is recommended during pregnancy. Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make conditions worse or create new ones due to hormonal changes and changes in eating habits. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. Local anesthetics and x-rays are okay during pregnancy although they are to be done only when necessary.
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