In our family dentistry office, we are regularly asked questions about oral health. We welcome such queries, because our job is to keep your teeth healthy, and providing you with information is an excellent way to do so. Still, many questions we get asked are based on common dental myths, some of which are dangerous to your oral health. With that in mind, it is important to visit our dental office if you have concerns about your teeth. In the meantime, here are common myths we hear and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: If my gums are bleeding, I should avoid brushing them.
The Truth – If your gums are bleeding, it is important that you brush them because you are probably suffering from gum disease. As a family dentistry office, we want to see you right away if your gums are bleeding. This is very often caused by plaque and tartar that has become trapped under your gums. Once there, it can cause irritations such as swollen gums, bleeding, and overall redness. To treat the condition, we need to remove the plaque and tartar so your gums can return to good oral health. The sooner you can come in, the better because this will allow us to prevent the condition from escalating. Gum disease is a leading cause of adult tooth loss, so this is not something to be taken lightly.
Myth #2: Natural sugar is not bad for your teeth.
The Truth – Sugar of any kind is bad for your teeth because the bacteria on your teeth feed on sugar and starch, so the more sugar you eat, the more likely you will get a cavity. In our family dentistry office, we recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and rinse your mouth after drinking juice or milk since they are high in sugar. This is particularly important to remember with children. It is fairly normal for parents to send their kids to bed with a glass of juice or a bottle of milk. Since both are high in sugar, this increases the chance of a child getting cavities, and baby bottle tooth decay may occur as a result. You can prevent this by sending your child to bed with a glass of water instead.
Myth #3: Flossing is optional.
If you want to prevent gum disease, flossing is critical. We recommend that you buy a flossing tool to use if you do not enjoy flossing the traditional way. The goal is to remove whatever plaque and food particles you can, and schedule with our office for a teeth cleaning to get whatever you left behind.
Myth #4: Baby teeth do not matter because they are going to fall out.
The Truth – Baby teeth are critical for your child to develop healthy speech patterns, eat like normal, and smile with confidence. If their teeth become infected or experience decay, they can get a toothache just like you can. Also, if they fall out too early, it can lead to overcrowding and the need for braces down the road.