It’s no myth that many people are frightened by the idea of getting any sort of dental work because some dental procedures can be a little scary and uncomfortable. As many as 12% of adults in the United States say they have dental induced stress and anxiety. It is so prevalent that the fear of dentists and dental related procedures is known as odontophobia.
Some people are so terrified of dentists that they choose to just stay away and ignore that part of their health care. According to reports conducted by the Surgeon General’s office in recent years, around 5% of Americans are so afraid of going to the dentist that they simply don’t go.
When you consider how many people fear the dentist and dread any dental procedures, it is no wonder that there are a number of myths that have developed over the years. Most of the common dental related myths come from our attempt to explain what we fear or to make it easier to avoid trips to the dentist. Sometimes people find it easier and more convenient to choose to believe these myths instead of seeking out the truth. Over time, these myths can become so common and popular that it is difficult to distinguish dental fact from dental fiction.
White teeth are healthier teeth.
Even though society today thinks white teeth look better, teeth are not meant to be pure white. Their natural coloring is a slight off-white color. You can help keep your teeth white and shiny naturally by limiting foods and drinks that can stain your teeth and by following good brushing and flossing practices. Naturally white teeth are better and healthier than ones whitened by harsh whitening treatments.
Only the sugar that comes from candy, sodas, cakes, and other sweets will damage teeth.
While foods that are high in refined sugar are bad for your teeth there are other ‘healthier’ sources of sugar that can damage your teeth and gums over time. Dried fruit, fruit juice and other foods that contain natural sugars can lead to tooth decay if the sugar coats the teeth for an extended period of time. Limit the amount you eat and increase how many times you brush each day or at least rinse well after eating any foods that have refined or natural sugar.
It is not as important to brush baby teeth well since they will fall out.
Even though baby teeth will fall out and be replaced by the permanent teeth, they still have to be brushed and properly cared for. Establishing good dental hygiene habits early in life will make it easier to maintain good dental health later in life. Baby teeth serve as space holders and help ensure the permanent teeth come in properly.
When your gums are sensitive and bleeding it is best to stop brushing and flossing until they heal so you don’t do more damage.
This may seem like a logical and smart thing to do, but actually when you are talking about your gums, the opposite is true. When your gums bleed and become red, inflamed, or sore it is sign that bacteria and plaque are building up along the gum line and causing damage. You need to brush and clean that buildup away before your gums can heal. The bleeding and pain will only get worse if left alone and can easily develop into periodontal disease. The key is to brush and floss regularly and gently.
If you have bad breath it means you are not brushing and flossing properly.
Actually, bad breath has many possible causes other than poor dental hygiene. The foods you eat are a major culprit as when you burp, whatever is in your stomach will end up scenting your mouth. Also, certain illnesses can give you bad breath.
The more sugar you eat the more cavities you get.
Fact # 6:
There are several different types of bacteria in your mouth and these bacteria feed on carbohydrates that are in your mouth from the things you eat, like sugar. The bacteria produce an acid as a byproduct and this acid can erode the enamel of your teeth and weaken your teeth and gums and lead to common dental issues such as cavities. The longer the carbohydrates are in your mouth the more acid the bacteria produce and the more damage your teeth suffer. In other words, it’s more about how long the sugar is on your teeth than how much sugar you eat. Eating a pile of Halloween candy and then brushing afterwards does far less damage than eating one or two pieces and then going to bed without brushing. It is also important to avoid slowly dissolving candies and also avoid sipping sugary drinks all day as these will continually coat your teeth and make more acid all day long. Simply being smart about sugar can help you keep your teeth healthy.
Everybody will end up needing false teeth or dentures when they reach a certain age because teeth naturally start to give out.
Fact # 7:
Teeth are actually quite strong and when they are cared for properly they can indeed last your entire life. With advances in dental care and treatment, teeth are lasting longer, which means you can enjoy them longer too.
When a tooth has a filling or crown, you don’t need to worry about brushing or flossing the tooth area.
Fact # 8:
Just because a tooth has been filled or has a crown or other dental implant in place, that does not mean you get to decrease how much you brush and floss. There is still some of your natural tooth intact with most dental procedures and you need to take care of that portion of the tooth just like you would your other teeth. If proper brushing and flossing routines are not followed, the tooth can begin to rot and decay under the filling or crown, further weakening and destroying the remaining part of the tooth. This will require new procedures, more work, or the complete loss of the entire tooth, all of which can be very expensive and uncomfortable.