Many people unfamiliar with the world of dentistry may misunderstand certain aspects of dental treatments and oral health care. This means people could unknowingly harm their oral health by adhering to certain dental myths. Identifying the difference between speculated misconceptions and proven facts can help you to maintain the quality of your oral health. If you are unsure of any dental health practice or information you’ve received, check in with your dental professional.
There are a lot of misinterpretations of how dental health care works today. These misunderstandings may keep you from seeking out necessary treatments and healthy practices that can help maintain and improve dental health.
Here are some of the five most common dental myths, debunked:
Myth #1: As long as my teeth are white, they are clean and healthy
Not necessarily. Yellow teeth may often be associated with poor dental hygiene. However, the natural colour of your teeth is not as white as you think. Enamel has a semi- translucent, blue-white tinge that allows the dentin to show through, which can give off a slightly yellow shade. It’s also important to note that some food and beverages (such as wine, coffee, and tea) can stain teeth – which doesn’t mean they’re dirty or unhealthy.
Myth #2: Teeth whitening is damaging to your teeth
It’s a common belief that teeth whitening has the potential to damage the tooth enamel, exposing it to more dental issues. Contrary to this belief, teeth whitening is a very safe procedure if done under the expert supervision of a dentist.
Consider one of the best Ottawa dentists for more information on professional teeth whitening procedures.
Having said that, other over-the-counter teeth whitening products could have acidic ingredients that can be harmful to teeth. It’s better to go with the option your dentist recommends.
Myth #3: Sugar is the leading cause of cavities
For a long time, many people believed that sugar is the main cause of tooth decay. It’s likely one of the most publicly accepted myths of all. While it is true that sugar can play a significant role in causing cavities, the bacteria in your mouth is the main cause of tooth decay. The bacteria feed on sugars and carbs to produce acids that attack the enamel and cause cavities.
Myth #4 Teeth flossing causes or exaggerates gaps between teeth
It’s common to feel as though the natural spaces between your teeth become wider after flossing. However, this is actually due to the removal of tartar, it isn’t an actual change in the gap size. Flossing doesn’t in fact create or widen these spaces – but improper flossing can. Certain flossing mistakes such as cutting through gum tissue or forcing floss between your teeth could cause your gums to recede or gaps to widen. Ask your dentist to demonstrate how to properly floss to avoid these mistakes.
Myth #5 Baby teeth fall out, so you don’t have to take care of them
People, unfortunately, believe baby teeth are less important because they fall out eventually. However, these temporary teeth are important and can affect a child’s oral health as they age. In childhood, baby teeth serve the purpose of chewing and language development. They also help to reserve space for permanent teeth. Baby teeth are vulnerable to cavities due to their small size, and if left untreated, can lead to infection.
Hopefully, this helps to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding dental care and oral health. Remember, if you have any questions, consider seeing your dental professional today.