As with many aspects of life, there are old wives’ tales, myths, and misconceptions about dental health. Something someone said once upon a time sticks around even without validity or proof. Kennewick dentists frequently encounter patients who have fallen prey to these misconceptions, leading to inadequate or harmful dental practices. If you are reading this, it is because you are taking action to become an informed individual who cares about their oral health. That is why we at Creekside Dental have worked together to debunk five common dental misconceptions and provide practical advice for maintaining optimal oral health. Let’s jump in!
5 Dental Myths Dispelling by Kennewick Dentists
Myth 1: White Teeth are Healthy Teeth
False! One of the most common dental myths is that if they are white, they are healthy. While having white teeth was a good sign of oral health a few centuries back (when going to the dentist wasn’t all that common), it doesn’t mean anything now. It is easy to alter the cosmetic appearance of teeth without improving one’s health.
Our Kennewick dentists at Creekside Dental want to clarify that while white teeth might be appealing, they aren’t always an indicator of good oral health. Teeth can be naturally off-white or may discolor over time, yet still be perfectly healthy. Conversely, white teeth can still harbor unseen issues like cavities or internal tooth damage.
Truly having healthy teeth requires visiting the dentist to get your checkups and taking appropriate action to care for your teeth. Then, if you want to ensure that bright white smile, getting your teeth professionally whitened will ensure a vibrant smile without harming your enamel.
Myth 2: If Your Gums Bleed, Stop Flossing
False! Bleeding gums often scare people out of flossing, but you shouldn’t stop! We understand that it can be scary, but the truth is that the bleeding is most commonly caused by not enough flossing.
When your gums bleed, it can be a sign of gingivitis or gum inflammation, often due to plaque buildup. This plague buildup comes from not brushing or flossing adequately, as you need BOTH of these actions to remove plaque and food buildup from hard-to-reach places properly.
Therefore, instead of stopping flossing, it’s actually a sign that you should be paying more attention to your oral hygiene. If you experience bleeding, be gentle but consistent with your flossing routine. Over time, as your gum health improves, the bleeding should decrease. If you find that the bleeding does not improve, we suggest you schedule a visit with a Kennewick dentist to rule out any serious gum disease and get personalized advice on oral care.
Myth 3: Brushing Hard Cleans Best
False! Many believe that the harder they brush their teeth, the more effectively they clean them. This leads to aggressive brushing techniques that can do more harm than good.
Our Kennewick dentists at Creekside Dental want to stress that brushing too hard can damage tooth enamel and irritate the gums. Effective cleaning is not about force but using the correct technique and tools.
To do this, we suggest doing the following:
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions. This method is effective in removing plaque without causing damage.
- Spend at least two minutes brushing, ensuring that all surfaces of each tooth are cleaned. Don’t forget the backs of your teeth and the ones way in the back!
- If you notice your toothbrush bristles getting flat quickly, you may want to consider using an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor, which can help prevent brushing too hard.
Myth 4: Sugar Causes Cavities
False! Another one of the widespread dental myths is that consuming sugar can instantly give you cavities. While we applaud parents for pushing this myth to prevent the overconsumption of sugar by their children, it is not 100% true.
The truth is that while sugar plays a role in cavity formation, it’s not the sole culprit. Cavities are actually caused by acid-producing bacteria in the mouth, which feed on sugar and other carbohydrates. On top of that, dry mouth, certain medications, and a genetic predisposition can also increase your risk of cavities.
While cutting sugar from your diet would be an excellent choice for your overall health, not a single Kennewick dentist would ever expect that level of dedication. Therefore, to prevent cavities, we suggest limiting sugar intake when possible, rinsing your mouth with water after consuming sugary or starchy foods, maintaining a consistent oral health routine, and keeping up with your regular dental appointments.
Myth 5: You Don’t Need to Worry about Baby Teeth
False! Even though your children’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, it doesn’t mean you can ignore them!
Our Kennewick dentists want to emphasize to all parents and guardians that baby teeth play a critical role in a child’s oral development. They not only help in speech development and food chewing but also hold space for permanent teeth. Neglecting your kid’s baby teeth can lead to decay, affecting the health of the emerging permanent teeth.
Of course, your children will not have the same oral health routine as you, but here is how you can easily make early dental care practices a part of your routine.
Step 1: Start dental hygiene practices early, even before the first tooth appears, by wiping a baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth.
Step 2: Once teeth appear, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a rice-grain-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste for brushing.
Step 3: Start regular dental check-ups by your child’s first birthday or when the first tooth emerges.
The Importance of Regular Check-Ups is NOT a Dental Myth
While debunking dental myths provides valuable insights, nothing replaces the importance of regular dental check-ups. Starting from our last myth, understanding the importance of baby teeth sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy oral habits, and we, as your local Kennewick dentists, are here to help you instill good oral hygiene practices into your children at a young age and beyond. These routine visits to your Kennewick dentist are vital for maintaining overall oral health and catching potential issues before they become major problems.
At Creekside Dental, our team of experienced Kennewick dentists not only provides thorough check-ups but also offers personalized care and advice. We’re dedicated to ensuring that our patients maintain the best possible oral health throughout their lives.
Don’t let dental myths lead you astray. Ensure the best results for your oral health with the expert guidance and care of Creekside Dental. Schedule your appointment with our Kennewick dentists today, and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile!