There tends to be a lot of dental myths floating around the internet at times, and it can sometimes be hard to know what is fact, and what is fiction. So, we’re here to set the record straight and have created the ultimate list of myth-busters.
If my teeth don’t hurt, are they fine?
It’s not uncommon for people to arrive at their regularly scheduled dentist appointment and be told they need treatment, like a root canal or filling. Sometimes there’s no way to tell you need this treatment. Some people don’t feel any pain or sensitivity at all. So, the only way of being 100% sure that everything is healthy and normal in your mouth is by visiting a dentist, regardless of whether your teeth hurt or not. Most of the time, if we wait until we feel pain in our mouth to visit the dentist, then the problem will be more severe and therefore harder to resolve.
Are bleeding gums normal?
Most of the time, bleeding gums are caused by inflammation of the gums. This can be caused by many things, like plaque build-up, early gum disease (gingivitis) or ill-fitting dentures and retainers. If you do have gum disease, your gums may look red and swollen, this can be prevented by taking good care of your teeth.
Bleeding gums are actually very common, but it’s important not to ignore them as they could be an indicator of a more serious dental problem. If your gums bleed easily, then it could be as easily fixable as brushing your teeth with less pressure or flossing using a better technique.
Flossing is unnecessary if you brush
Flossing targets a different part of your mouth to your toothbrush, so it’s essential that you use both in conjunction. Flossing removes over 80% of the plaque that toothbrushes alone simply can’t reach. The act of flossing gets in between each tooth to remove any plaque or leftover food debris from there or the gumline.
To floss correctly, wind a piece of floss around your middle fingers on both hands. Then, put the floss in between your teeth and go in an up and down motion, making sure you’re making contact with the sides of your tooth. Also, shape the floss into a c-shape and place it in the gap between your gum line and teeth.
Mouthwash can be used instead of toothpaste
The short answer is on a regular basis, no. However, there are exceptions to this rule, like if you don’t have access to any toothpaste. Brushing your teeth with mouthwash is nowhere near as effective as brushing with fluoride toothpaste, but if needed you can dip the bristles of your brush into the mouthwash and continue to brush your teeth as you usually would. Make sure that you’re rinsing your mouth well after using mouthwash as a substitute for toothpaste. It’s important to reiterate that this method shouldn’t be used regularly.
You can only get cavities due to sugar
When you were younger, your parents probably told you that sweets were bad for your teeth. However, it’s actually not the sugar itself that is causing the damage to your teeth or oral health. Instead, it’s the bacteria your mouth uses to get rid of the sugar which causes the problem. This bacteria creates an acid that can cause tooth decay and cavities.
There are also other reasons as to why you can get a cavity, like if you don’t use fluoride toothpaste, or if you suffer from a dry mouth.
Can teeth whitening damage tooth enamel?
Teeth whitening doesn’t damage your tooth enamel if done properly. The part of your tooth which is responsible for the colour of it is known as the dentin. When your teeth are whitened by a professional dentist, the whitening solution is only placed on the front of your teeth. Gradually, the solution will travel further down into the tooth and colour the dentin too. This means that the inner layer of your teeth is being coloured too.
In fact, the easiest way to tell if your tooth enamel is damaged is to see whether there is any yellow discolouration on the tooth.
Gum disease only affects your mouth
To put it simply, gum disease is an infection of the tissues which keep the teeth in place. Unfortunately, gum disease is linked to a lot of other serious health conditions which go further than just affecting the mouth, like heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes and strokes. The reason why they’re linked is that infections and bacteria can get directly into your bloodstream.
Brushing your teeth properly will help to combat any signs of gum disease, so it’s important to establish a good oral health routine early.
You only need to see the dentist if you have a problem
You should always schedule regular dentist appointments twice a year, regardless of whether you have any oral health issues. Regular dentist appointments help dentists to keep an eye on your mouth and check that your teeth are pearly white.
At a dental appointment, your dentist may ask for your medical history before beginning a check-up of your teeth, tongue and gums. Your dentist will also ask you if you’ve been experiencing any pain or sensitivity and will inform you of information such as how to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Finally, they will speak to you about any treatment you may need (if you don’t need any at all then that’s a bonus), and your dentist will also ask you to rebook an appointment with them.
There is so much information available online about how to look after your teeth properly and when you should go to the dentist. To filter through all of this is a huge task. We hope we’ve made it easier for you with our myth-buster. If you are unsure about anything at all, make sure to double-check with your dentist. They know your teeth and will be able to advise you with the correct advice about what you should or shouldn’t be doing in your dental routine.