Fact or Fiction? Dental Myths Debunked

By Aaron Strickland, D.D.S. on June 30, 2017

Fact or Fiction? Dental Myths Debunked

Links between dental health and overall wellbeing have been proven in studies time and again. But despite the clear correlation between the two, there is still some confusion on proper dental care. Take a look at a few dental myths below, and the truth behind them.  


Myth #1: You don’t have to brush baby teeth.


Some people are under the impression that there is no need to take care of baby teeth. Sure, these teeth eventually fall out to be replaced by permanent teeth, but that doesn’t excuse our responsibility to help our children take care of them. By brushing our children’s baby teeth, we’re teaching lifelong habits of brushing and flossing that will become invaluable as our children get older. In addition, should a baby tooth start to decay and fall out or need to be removed early, it may lead to bite problems down the road.


Myth #2: Don’t floss bleeding gums.


This is a myth we hear all too often. Seeing blood on the toothbrush or in the sink after brushing is scary, and some people think they need to stop brushing that area until it stops bleeding. But actually, the reverse is true. Bleeding gums is caused by plaque buildup, and the solution is to remove the plaque through daily flossing and brushing, as well as regular dental cleanings.


Myth #3: Teeth whitening products damage tooth enamel.


This myth actually has a hint of truth to it. Let us explain. The active ingredient in over-the-counter teeth whitening products is usually either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, and both are safe in the recommended dosages. However, ignoring the directions and using a whitening product too frequently can damage your enamel. If this happens, you may need to remineralize your teeth with fluoride and calcium to strengthen any spots of weakened enamel – remember, enamel can’t grow back. For the safest teeth whitening, visit the dentist.  


Myth #4: Bad breath means you’re a bad brusher.


Actually, people can get bad breath for a variety of reasons – only one of which is poor dental hygiene. Diet and nutrition, illness, and smoking are just a few reasons why someone might have bad breath. Since bad breath may be a sign of an underlying illness, be sure to discuss it with your dentist. He or she can help find the root of the cause, even if it is poor oral hygiene.


So, since we know how closely dental health is linked to overall wellness, take care of yourself! Don’t believe everything you hear about dental health. If you have any questions, just talk to your dentist!

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