There are plenty of myths about dental care. These myths are spread like wildfire leaving many misinformed about their dental health. Some myths about dental care can lead to fewer routine visits which can have negative long term effects on your health. When in doubt about your dental health, it’s important to consult with your dentist who will give you the correct information and expert recommendations to keep you healthy.
Here are 7 common myths about dental care:
1. The harder the toothbrush the better
The first common myth about dental care is that a hard toothbrush is best. This is however far from true. Hard toothbrushes can be too abrasive on your teeth and gums, causing damage. Instead you should opt for a soft or medium bristle toothbrush and brush for a longer period of time to take the best care of your teeth.
2. Dental x-rays aren’t necessary
Another common myth about dental care is that x-rays aren’t necessary. X-rays should be a regular part of your dental care because they are ultimately what help discover deeper rooted issues that can’t be seen during your dental exam. For example, hidden decay, wisdom teeth and other harmful common issues could go unnoticed without getting x-rays taken.
3. Children don’t need to see a dentist until they begin school
Waiting until a child is to start school before seeing a dentist is a common myth about dental care among parents. However, this isn’t the best guideline to follow. It’s important to get your children used to going to the dentist starting at a young age. It’s recommended that children go to the dentist by the age of 24 to 36 months of age unless a problem is suspected. First visits are to help children become accustomed to their dentist as well as get an initial exam to assess how baby teeth are growing in. This will help the dentist assess any teeth that have come in as well as give the parents tips on how to support their children’s dental health from a young age.
4. Teeth whitening is harmful to your teeth
This common myth about dental care assumes that teeth whitening harms tooth enamel. However, that is not the case. Teeth whitening can cause some discomfort including temporary tooth and gum sensitivity. It will not however damage enamel if done professionally or when using dentist recommended teeth whitening products. If you’re worried about how a tooth whitening method may affect your teeth long term, ask your dentist and they’ll give you the best solution.
5. Brushing and flossing your teeth prior to a dental exam will cover underlying issues
Many people believe the common myth that increasing their brushing and flossing right before their dental exam will hide any decay or less than healthy gums. However, this common myth is completely untrue. Dentists have tools, like x-rays, that can get the full picture of your mouth and tooth health, regardless of how well you’ve taken care of your teeth over the past week or two. Making sure you maintain healthy dental habits year-round is crucial to your long term health.
6. Gum disease is rare
Another common myth about dental care is that gum disease in rare. However, that’s not the case. There are actually many people in the United States that suffer from different levels of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, about 50% of American adults suffer from gum disease. Gum disease is caused by a number of different things from smoking to hormonal changes to genetics. Getting regular dental exams will allow your dentist to detect early signs of gum disease.
7. Dental care should be avoided during pregnancy
A final myth about dental care is that all dental procedures should be avoided during pregnancy. This isn’t true, in fact it may be more important to keep up with regular dental cleanings during pregnancy as pregnant women are more susceptible to getting gum disease. As hormones change during pregnancy, gums become more sensitive causing an environment for gingivitis. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to share with your dentist as they will know what should be avoided, like anesthesia for example, and what dental care is just fine.
Overall, these 7 common myths about dental care can cause dangerous misinformation to spread. Keeping up with your dental health is a major part of maintaining your overall health. Avoid believing the myths you hear, and instead take time to chat with your dentist who will have your best interest in mind.