There are a lot of different myths surrounding dental hygiene
Myth #1 | Nothing is wrong with your teeth or gums unless you are in pain.
Fact: No pain does not mean no problem. Most dental issues progress without pain until they are in advanced stages, when treatment is invasive and expensive. The key to having healthy teeth and gums is to schedule and visit your dental office for your preventive care appointments with a hygienist because early detection reduces overall cost, pain, and number of dental visits.
Myth #2 | Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, only affect old people.
Fact: According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), individuals usually don’t show signs of periodontal disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Young and healthy individuals are more likely to develop gingivitis, the milder form of periodontal disease. In any instance, regardless of the given variables, periodontal disease develops when plaque builds up along and under the gum line.
Myth #3 | Oral cancer is a smoker’s disease.
Fact: More newly diagnosed cases of oral cancer are being attributed to the HPV virus than smoking. The high death rate associated with oral cancer isn’t due to the cancer being difficult to detect, but to the fact that it progresses without symptoms and is often only detected when it’s very advanced. This is one of the most dangerous dental myths because people neglect getting their regular dental exams done so detection and proper oral evaluation doesn’t happen.
Myth #4 | Flossing and brushing daily aren’t as critical as my dentist claims.
Fact: Bacteria forms from food particles that are left behind after eating food. If left in place, those particles can become plaque and tartar. Brushing twice a day maintains smooth surfaces so that bacteria can’t cling to the surface as easily; flossing ensures that the particles between your teeth are removed.
Myth #5 | Going to the dentist is painful.
Fact: Dentistry has changed a lot over the past few decades. Dental visits today are typically uneventful and pain free, especially if you stick to a regular routine of dental visits.
Myth #6 | Brushing my teeth more than once a day can harm my enamel.
Fact: Brushing your teeth more than once a day will not harm your enamel. Most dentists suggest using a soft to medium bristle toothbrush to avoid being rough on gums and teeth. It is recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating or drinking.
Myth #7 | Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is just as effective as brushing or flossing.
Fact: Chewing sugar-free gum approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) after meals can help clean your teeth and freshen your breath. It is NOT a replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth to thoroughly remove dental plaque and debris.
Myth #8 | I should not brush/floss my teeth if my gums are bleeding.
Fact: Bleeding gums are often caused when dental plaque or food debris is not properly removed by regular brushing and flossing. If you notice that your gums become more prone to bleeding, it means that you haven’t been brushing or flossing well or often enough. If you improve your daily oral hygiene routine and the bleeding continues, visit your dentist as it may be a sign of gingivitis.
Myth #9 | Teeth whitening treatments will damage my enamel.
Fact: Teeth whitening treatments have gotten much safer as new technological developments in both over-the-counter and in-office products have evolved. If you have any follow up questions or concerns, make sure to contact your dentist.
Myth #10 | All dental procedures must be avoided during pregnancy.
Fact: Certain procedures, such as X-rays or dental surgery, should be avoided during pregnancy. Regular dental treatments are highly recommended to continue since your oral health may affect the health of your baby.