There is so many of information online about proper oral care. Sadly, much of it is incorrect or deceptive. Innovations in healthcare pop up each day, and sometimes the messages about them get mixed up. Other dental myths have been passed down through generations for years. Let's set everything straight with some facts. The following are the most common dental myths and misconceptions:
Myth #1 | Unless you are in pain, there is nothing wrong with your teeth or gums.
Fact: The absence of pain does not imply the absence of a problem. Most dental problems progress painlessly until they reach advanced stages when treatment is invasive and costly. The key to having healthy teeth and gums is to schedule and attend preventive care appointments with a hygienist at your dental office because early detection reduces overall cost, pain, and the number of dental visits.
Myth #2 | Periodontal disease, formerly known as gum disease, mostly affects older people.
Fact: According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), most people have no symptoms of periodontal disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Men are more likely than women to have gum disease. Gingivitis, a milder form of periodontal disease, is more common in young and healthy people. Periodontal disease develops when plaque accumulates along and beneath the gum line, regardless of the variables.
Myth #3 | Only smokers can have oral cancer.
Fact: The HPV virus is responsible for more newly diagnosed cases of oral cancer than smoking. The high death rate associated with oral cancer is due not to the cancer's difficulty in detection, but to the fact that it progresses without symptoms and is frequently detected only when it is very advanced. This is one of the most dangerous dental myths because people fail to get regular dental exams, which prevents detection and proper oral evaluation.
Myth #4 | Daily flossing and brushing are not as important as my dentist claims.
Fact: Bacteria grow from food particles that are left over after eating. If those particles remain in place, they can harden into plaque and tartar. Brushing twice a day keeps surfaces smooth, making bacteria less likely to adhere to them; flossing removes particles between your teeth.
Myth #5 | Dental visits are painful.
Fact: Dentistry has evolved over the last few decades. Dental visits today are usually uneventful and painless, especially if you visit your dentist regularly.
Myth #6 | Teeth brushing more than once a day can cause enamel damage.
Fact: Brushing your teeth more than once a day will not cause enamel damage. To avoid being rough on gums and teeth, most dentists recommend using a toothbrush with soft to medium bristles. It is recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth.
Myth #7 | Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is as effective as brushing or flossing.
Fact: After meals, chewing sugar-free gum recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) can help clean your teeth and freshen your breath. It is NOT a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth to remove dental plaque and debris thoroughly.
Myth #8 | If my gums are bleeding, I should not brush or floss my teeth.
Fact: Bleeding gums are frequently caused when dental plaque or food debris is not properly removed by brushing and flossing regularly. If you notice your gums becoming more prone to bleeding, it means you haven't been brushing or flossing thoroughly or frequently enough. If you improve your daily oral hygiene routine and the bleeding persists, see your dentist as gingivitis may be present.
Myth #9 | My enamel can be harmed by teeth whitening treatments.
Fact: As new technological developments in both over-the-counter and in-office products have evolved, teeth whitening treatments have become much safer. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your dentist.
Myth #10 | During pregnancy, all dental procedures must be avoided.
Fact: X-rays and dental surgery, for example, should be avoided during pregnancy. Regular dental treatments are strongly advised to continue because your oral health may affect your baby's health.