5 More Dental Myths
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
There's no shortage of misinformation on the Internet, and this is especially true for dental care. Many of us grew up hearing that sugar is bad for your teeth, but that's not the whole story. We've busted some dental myths in the past, and here are 5 more dental myths.
1. Flossing is not necessary.
Brushing only cleans about 65% of the tooth's surface. Without flossing you miss cleaning 1/3 of your teeth. Only dental floss can remove the food particles stuck in the area between your teeth. Flossing is also necessary for maintaining gum health and preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis. Poor gum health is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Did you know? Flossing once a day can add 6.5 years to your life!
2. Only sugary foods affect your teeth.
Most people grew up hearing that sugar creates cavities. While this is true, other foods can also damage your teeth including starchy food, alcohol, acidic foods and drinks, and sugar-free carbonated drinks. The high pH level of acidic foods like white wine, soda, and citrus fruits can erode the enamel on your teeth. Once the enamel is weakened it makes the tooth more prone to cavities and sensitivity. Dark-coloured drinks like tea, coffee, and red wine can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. This is important for those who tend to sip on their drinks throughout the day. If you enjoy lemon water, coffee or tea, dentists recommend drinking it in one sitting and then rinsing with water. You can also eat more fibre-rich fruits and vegetables to increase saliva flow and restore the minerals in your teeth. Studies have shown that eating an apple leads to an immediate drop in salivary bacteria.
3. Fillings last forever.
If your natural teeth can wear down, so can dental fillings. Fillings are susceptible to wear and tear. Typically, a filling can last about 10 years or more. A dental filling can wear down faster due to clenching and grinding. Additionally, new decay can form around the edges of the filling, thus necessitating a replacement.
4. You can inherit bad teeth and gums.
The spacing, alignment, size of teeth, and size of the jaw are all inherited through your family lineage. But you do not inherit bad teeth, poor gums, or the propensity to lose teeth. The health of your teeth and gums is directly related to how well you take care of them. Brushing in the morning and at night, flossing daily, and regular check-ups can help you keep your teeth healthy for life.
5. My tooth stopped hurting, so I don't need to see the dentist.
"Pushing through" tooth pain can lead to serious health consequences. When a tooth is painful, it's likely because a cavity has reached the tooth's nerve. As the nerve gets infected and begins to die it creates more tooth pain. Once the nerve has died, you cannot feel anything on that tooth even though infection and decay are present. From there, the infection can then spread to other parts of your body including your sinus, throat, and heart. Ignoring tooth pain could lead to an abscessed tooth that must be extracted. If your tooth hurts, see your dentist right away to assess the problem and begin treatment.
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