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Dental Myths - Debunked

Fact or Fiction

There are a lot of misconceptions about the dentistry profession, some that even may cause dental anxiety. But we are here to set the record straight.

Below are some of the most common dental myths and the truth behind them.

Myth: Kids Don’t Need to Brush Their Teeth

False — Baby teeth are very important! Establishing dental habits early in a child’s life helps prevent dental anxiety in the future and protects the development of their adult teeth as well. Although baby teeth aren’t permanent, they are pertinent to your child’s long-term oral health.

Cavities in children are very common. Dentists recommend swapping out candy, juice, and sports drinks for fresh fruit to curb your child’s sweet tooth and help prevent any further tooth decay. They also recommend starting dental care early to instill good brushing habits at home.

Your child should see a dentist once they develop their first tooth or turn one year old, depending on which comes first. The dentist can provide tips and tricks to help make oral health care fun for your little one.

Myth: Brushing Harder Cleans Your Teeth Better

Brushing your teeth harder can actually cause permanent damage to your smile. The harder you brush, the more trauma you are inflicting to your tooth enamel and gum tissue. It can even lead to further problems such as gum recession.

Instead, brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes, twice a day. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes. Make sure to brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and back molars to help prevent any decay!

Myth: If Your Gums Bleed — It’s Normal

We are here to tell you — this is not normal! Bleeding gums is the number one inclination of inflammation. Inflammation occurs when bacteria and plaque get stuck between your teeth, which is why flossing is essential to your oral hygiene. Other causes of bleeding gums are gingivitis or gum disease.

If you make flossing part of your daily routine, you will notice the bleeding subside with time. Studies show that approximately 20% of Americans never floss. However, flossing is proven to remove up to 80% of plaque.

Myth: Sugar Causes Cavities

Growing up, you may have heard not to eat too much sugar, so you don’t get cavities. And while sugar is a culprit of cavities, it isn’t the sugar itself that causes them. In actuality, starches are more harmful to your teeth. Starches break down into simple sugars, which bacteria feed off of, eventually leading to tooth decay.

Foods high in fiber are great for your teeth! Incorporate fiber-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Other foods like cheeses, yogurt, and sugarless chewing gum also have preventative properties.

Myth: Charcoal Toothpaste Whitens Your Teeth

Activated charcoal is an extremely trendy ingredient in various products found on your local convenience store shelves. You can find charcoal face masks, charcoal face wash, and charcoal toothpaste. But is charcoal as effective as it seems?

According to the American Dental Association, there is no evidence that shows dental products with charcoal are safe or effective. In fact, charcoal toothpaste can be abrasive. If you use it daily, charcoal toothpaste can wear down your enamel, which can lead to yellowing.

Myth: If You Have No Oral Health Problems, You Don’t Need To See a Dentist

Seeing a dentist twice a year is the best way to maintain optimal oral health. If you are already keeping up with your dental habits at home, the trained professionals at Austell Dental Associates can help prevent any oral health issues. Here we offer a wide range of cleaning and preventative services to ensure your mouth is at its healthiest.

Book an appointment with one of our dentists today by calling (770) 467-3888.


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