When it comes to dental care, it is easy to think you know what’s best since there’s so much information online about how to keep your teeth healthy. These myths also flow through word of mouth, and some have been passed down to us from a very young age.
Unfortunately, certain information could be misleading and may result in unintended dental health issues. We want you to have a healthy smile, so in this guide, we’ll help you debunk some of the common oral health myths and misconceptions.
Myth 1: Tooth Loss Is Genetic
Some people believe they can’t avoid tooth loss because they have a long family history of it, but this is not valid. Tooth loss is absolutely preventable. In most situations, tooth loss is largely due to dental problems such as cavities. Tooth decay is the major cause of tooth loss, not your genetics.
Similarly, bad teeth are not genetic. It is possible to have 100% healthy teeth through good oral hygiene practices. With thorough brushing and flossing, regular dental visits, preventative dental services, and cosmetic dentistry (when needed), you can enjoy healthy teeth for life.
Myth 2: Flossing Isn’t As Necessary As Brushing
If you skip flossing, plaques easily build up in between your teeth and along your gum line. This increases your risk of developing cavities and gum diseases. Toothbrushes cannot reach food debris in-between the teeth, and flossing is the only way to remove trapped food. In other words, flossing completes your brushing routine.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day for good oral care. A good oral care technique is to floss your teeth before you brush them. This loosens the food particles and debris so your toothbrush can easily clear them away.
Myth 3: Dental X-Rays Are Dangerous
Are you wondering if dental x-rays are safe? The simple answer is YES. They’re safe and very beneficial for your oral health, both short-term and long-term. Contrary to popular belief, radiation is safe in approved doses, such as during your dentist appointment.
The amount of radiation you’re exposed to during a dental x-ray is minimal, and safety procedures ensure that you are never exposed in a way that would cause health issues.
Myth 4: Crowns & Fillings Protect Against Future Tooth Decay
It is true that crowns and fillings protect your teeth one way or the other. However, they do not protect against everything.
Crowns and fillings do not protect your teeth against gum disease when bacteria find their way underneath the gum line and start initiating a series of attacks on the teeth. Don’t skip good oral hygiene because you wear crowns or fillings placed in your teeth. Make sure to take care of your crowns just like you take care of normal teeth.
Myth 5: The Harder You Brush, The Cleaner Your Teeth
It is still widely believed that brushing alone suffices for good oral health. That’s why some people also believe that they need to brush their teeth as hard as possible to get rid of as much bacteria and food debris as they can.
Regular brushing is a good oral health practice, but it doesn’t clean your teeth more thoroughly and it doesn’t make your teeth white. In fact, brushing your teeth too hard puts you at an even greater risk of damaging your enamel and exposing your teeth to cavities or sensitivity issues.
Myth 6: You Really Don’t Need To Visit The Dentist If You Have Nothing Bothering You
Waiting until you feel like you need to see the dentist is arguably the biggest dental misconception. People often wait until they experience pain before they feel the urge to schedule an appointment. Certain dental problems such as cavities and gum disease do not present with tooth pain until it’s too late.
By the time dental problems start presenting with pain, the damage may already be extensive and costly as well. These serious dental issues can be prevented through regular dental visits and proper care.
Myth 7: Natural Sugars Can’t Harm Your Teeth
The belief that eating fruit instead of sweets won’t harm your teeth is based on the assumption that anything that looks natural is healthy and harmless. Sugars obtained from natural sources aren’t actually a safer alternative.
Bacteria in the mouth cannot tell if sugar is refined or natural. However, foods with added processed sugars are even worse for your teeth because they have a far greater concentration of sugar than fruits.