Common Dental Myths and Misconceptions

Find the Truth About Dental Care

According to the American Dental Association, 52.3% of adults reported that they had visited the dentist every six months during the last few years. While we would certainly like to see that number increase, going to the dentist is still a fairly common practice. Like with any common practice, myths and misconceptions are bound to arise. Some of the most common myths and misconceptions that we hear surrounding dental care include:

  • It is normal for the gums to bleed.

Although it might be common for the gums to bleed, it does signify a problem. When the gums bleed during brushing or flossing, it is often due to inflammation of the gums, which is caused by buildup of plaque at the gumline. Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to get your gums to stop bleeding.

  • The harder you brush your teeth, the more effectively you will clean them.

Many patients tend to think that brushing their teeth harder will clean them more effectively. This is called “toothbrush abrasion,” and it can actually result in overly sensitive teeth, receding gums, and can wear on the enamel.

  • If your teeth are white, they are healthy.

White teeth are not necessarily healthy, and teeth that appear faded are not necessarily unhealthy. In fact, if you are using teeth whitening procedures rather than addressing dental issues, you might be masking underlying causes of fading. If you are concerned about the color or appearance of your teeth, we recommend speaking with your dental provider about the best solutions for you.

  • Diet drinks and alternatives to sugar are better for your teeth.

Diet drinks and alternatives to sugars are often highly acidic. The acid that is found in these alternative options eats away at your enamel and causes tooth sensitivity. Orange juices and citric juices can cause damage in the same way.

  • Baby teeth don’t matter because they fall out anyway.

While it’s true that baby teeth will eventually fall out, they are as important to infants and children as permanent teeth are to older children and adults. Healthy baby teeth are essential for chewing, and if these teeth are not taken care of, it can lead to malnutrition. Baby teeth are also important for the alignment and position of permanent teeth, and their placement encourages normal development of the facial bones and muscles. Baby teeth play a major role in the lifelong trajectory of an individual’s oral health.

  • You don’t need to go to the dentist unless your teeth hurt.

If your teeth hurt, that is a great indicator that it is time to pay a visit to the dentist. However, the goal of regular dental checkups is to stop dental health issues in their tracks, so that you can reach healing before pain even occurs.

  • Flossing creates spaces between the teeth.

Flossing correctly is extremely beneficial for your oral health. It prevents tartar buildup, bad breath, gum disease, and a variety of other ailments. It is only when you floss improperly that you run a slight risk of creating gaps between the teeth. Common flossing mistakes that can lead to teeth gas include cutting your gums and discontinuing flossing due to bleeding. In order to properly brush your teeth, break a string of about 18 inches of floss. Wind most of the floss around the fingers on both hands, and hold the floss tight between your thumb and forefinger. Guide the floss gently between the teeth in a sawing motion.

Best Practices for Healthy Teeth

At your appointment with Austell Dental Associates, we can dispel any other misconceptions you might have about dental care and help you create a dental care plan that works for you. Some of the tips that we do recommend for patients who want to optimize their dental health include:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Avoid going to bed without brushing your teeth!
  • Remember to brush your tongue.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Find a mouthwash that is right for you. We can help you find the best one for your needs.
  • Make sure you are intaking enough water. The average adult should drink between 2.7-3.7 liters of water a day. If you can replace sugary drinks with water, that will be even better for your oral health.
  • Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods as well as starches.
  • Eat a balanced diet of sufficient fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Visit the dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dental provider.

Interested in learning more about the truth behind dental care and how you can achieve your healthiest smile? Make an appointment with Austell Dental Associates by calling us at (770) 467-3888 or contacting us online.

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