7 Dental Myths Debunked
There is a lot of great dental information that is readily available. However, there is a lot of false dental information out there today. Below is a list of seven of the most common dental myths:
Myth: Only Young People Get Tooth Decay
Fact: Adults can also get tooth decay. In addition to poor dental hygiene, there are several other things that can increase the risk of tooth decay. Certain medications, such as antidepressants and diuretics, can decrease saliva production. Dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay.
Older people are also more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Diabetes can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Myth: If Your Teeth Are White, Then They Are Healthier
Fact: Everybody wants to have white teeth, but white teeth are not always healthy. It is possible to have white teeth and still have cavities or an infection. It is also important to note that teeth have a tendency to discolor as a person gets older. Discoloration is not always an indication of unhealthy teeth.
Myth: Baby Teeth Are Not Important Because Children Lose Them Anyway
Fact: It is a common misconception that baby teeth are not important. However, tooth decay in baby teeth can damage the developing permanent teeth. A cavity is a cavity, and cavities hurt in adult teeth AND baby teeth. Additionally, if the baby teeth are not cared for properly, then they may fall out or have to be pulled prematurely, making it harder to chew. The permanent teeth may not grow in properly. Children may need braces later on down the road as the result of this.
Myth: Flossing Is Not Important
Fact: Flossing is something that many of us forget to do. However, neglecting this simple step can lead to serious consequences. Tooth decay and gum disease are much more likely to occur if a person does not floss.
Not only are many people neglecting flossing, but some of us are not flossing properly. Bacteria can thrive in the places that you miss when you are flossing. Flossing is a very cheap way to maintain your dental health.
Myth: Poor Oral Health Does Not Affect My Overall Health
Fact: The mouth is the gateway to the body. Poor oral health can lead to many other health problems. For example, it is very important for mothers to get adequate amounts of vitamin D, calcium and vitamin A. If a mother is deficient in essential nutrients, then her baby is at a greater risk for developing tooth decay later in life.
Poor oral health has also been linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Dentists have not determined the exact link between oral health and overall health. However, they know that poor dental hygiene can lead to gum inflammation. This same inflammation can affect many other parts of the body.
Myth: Eating More Sugar Causes More Tooth Decay
Fact: It is no secret that sugar is not good for your teeth. However, the amount of time the sugar remains in contact with your teeth influences your dental health more than the amount of sugar you consume. Bacteria need sugar to survive, but you can still develop tooth decay even if you do not eat foods high in added sugar. The combination of acid, bacteria and sugar is the real culprit behind tooth decay. This is why dentists recommend rinsing your mouth after eating sweets
Myth: I Have Soft Teeth
Fact: Generally speaking, there is no such thing as soft teeth. We can't control our genetic makeup, but we can control our diet and oral hygiene. The bacteria that causes tooth decay needs food frequently. If you can limit the bacteria's access to the buffet in your mouth, then you can keep your teeth “hard”, instead of “soft”.
Truth (just for the heck of it): Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating really will decrease your risk of getting cavities. If you can't brush, then chew.