Don’t Believe These 10 Dental Myths

Don't Believe These 10 Dental Myths
As your local denture dentists in Billings, MT, we have heard it all when it comes to dental myths. From not needing dental cleanings to using gum instead of brushing, all the myths you’ve ever heard, and more have been told to our dentists and dental staff.

If you have heard some questionable dental claims but aren’t sure if they are true or false, we’re here to help clear up any confusion by busting 10 common dental myths.

1. Myth – Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

The impermanent nature of baby teeth leaves some parents and children with the impression that it is fine to neglect them. But whether or not a tooth is a baby tooth, if tooth decay develops and requires a filling, root canal, or other procedure, it can be even more uncomfortable due to the smaller mouth of young patients.

On top of that, baby teeth play an important role when it comes to permanent adult teeth. Baby teeth help ensure that there is enough room for adult teeth in the mouth and that the new teeth come in at the right spot. Also, if there is extensive tooth decay in baby teeth, it can impact the jawbone below and reduce the bone density for future adult teeth.

2. Myth – You Have To Brush Your Teeth Hard

Some individuals feel that to get their teeth and gums as clean as possible that they need to brush hard with a hard-bristled toothbrush. But, your teeth aren’t dirty tile—in fact, scrubbing at them can hurt your teeth and gums.

Harshly brushing your teeth can cause the enamel to thin and create grooves in your teeth. These thinner teeth will look more yellow as the dentin below is exposed, which can often cause people to brush harder. Also, scrubbing at gums can cause them to recede and bleed. It is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and to be gentle as you brush.

3. Myth – Oral Hygiene Only Affects Your Mouth

It can be tempting to think that if there is an issue in your mouth—like a cavity—that it will only affect that one area and you can put off treatment. But that is far from reality.

Say that you have an untreated cavity. It may hurt, so you take painkillers and keep going about your day. But, left untreated by a dentist, that decay will continue to spread and can infect the rest of your tooth and even spread beyond your infected tooth to your gums in the form of an abscess.

Not only are abscesses incredibly painful, but the bacteria can spread and make you very sick, and in some cases, an abscess can lead to death. So, if you are having dental trouble, get it addressed before it has a chance to spread.

4. Myth – Biannual Cleanings Are Optional

A common dental myth is that biannual cleanings are unnecessary, and dentists use them as a way to charge for unneeded work. For those individuals with “good” teeth or those who aren’t sure how necessary preventative cleaning are, let us reassure you—your biannual cleanings are important!

During your preventative cleanings, our dentists can identify issues before they get out-of-control and keep an eye on potential problems. It is far better to get a cavity filling or two, rather than needing several root canals or potentially losing a tooth altogether.

5. Myth – It’s Easy To Replace Natural Teeth

With the advancements in dental technology and skill, some people feel like it’s fine to brush off dental concerns and regular care. And while there are a lot of excellent teeth replacement options—such as dental implants and dentures—your natural teeth should always be prioritized.

When it comes to your natural teeth, the functionality can’t be beaten. All other types of dental replacements come with expiration dates, but if you take care of your natural teeth, they can support you for the rest of your life.

6. Myth – Teeth Go Bad When You Get Older

There is a dollop of truth in this myth. As we age, having lackluster oral hygiene will often have a greater impact, though some people’s genetics can help protect them. However, your teeth don’t necessarily go bad as you age, especially if you keep up with the proper care.

While you may still need some dental fillings and the occasional crown, it is completely possible to keep all your natural teeth your entire life. All you need is good oral care and regular dental visits to stay on top of your oral health needs.

7. Myth – It Doesn’t Matter When You Brush Your Teeth

Sporadically brushing your teeth at odd hours is not enough to keep your teeth healthy. Part of why you brush in the morning is to help rehydrate your mouth, remove excess bacteria that has grown overnight, eradicate bad breath, and help prevent plaque build-up.

As for brushing your teeth before bed, it helps remove all the food particles you have left from the day and reduce the bacteria population that has built-up throughout the day. That way, as you go to sleep, you aren’t leaving food on your teeth for bacteria to consume as you sleep.

8. Myth – Gum With Xylitol Is Just As Good As Brushing

Sugar-free gum with xylitol is a good supplement to any oral hygiene routine, as it helps support teeth and fights against bacteria. However, that doesn’t mean that you can chew gum with xylitol instead of brushing and flossing. It should supplement a healthy routine, but gum can never replace brushing your teeth and flossing.

9. Myth – Flossing Isn’t Necessary

There has been some doubt about the evidence that flossing does anything. However, the problem is that people often struggle to floss on a regular basis, so it is difficult to gather clear evidence that flossing helps.

Yet, no matter how many flashy headlines that proclaim you don’t need to floss, it should still be part of your oral hygiene routine. Flossing can help remove leftover particles that become trapped between your teeth and help prevent gingivitis.

10. Myth – You Only Need To Visit The Dentist If There Is Pain

Some individuals will wait until they are in a great deal of dental pain before they visit the dentist, believing that it is a waste of time and money otherwise. But, much like you shouldn’t skip your biannual cleaning, you don’t have to wait until you are experiencing dental pain to visit our dental clinic.

Think of your visits this way—if you come in and have your teeth cleaned with no issues found, you can relax and feel confident for the next six months, instead of wondering if every twinge in your jaw is the sign of a cavity forming!

If you need to schedule your biannual cleaning or are struggling with dental issues, you can contact us to work with one of our dentists, and we will do our best to get your oral health back on track!

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