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  • Writer's pictureDental Grants of Canada

Dental Myths, Busted

Updated: Nov 29, 2019

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There are plenty of misconceptions and myths about dental care. Are white teeth healthier? Is it possible to keep your teeth for life? What should you do if your gums bleed from flossing?

Continue reading to find out about five common dental myths.

1. Whiter teeth are healthier.

The colour of your teeth is based on many factors such as genes, age, and stains from smoking, eating, drinking and some medications. The color of your teeth may yellow with age because the enamel wears away and exposes the dentin underneath. So, really, your tooth shade does not indicate overall dental health. However, if you notice green, black or brown spots and discoloration, it could be cause for concern as these are often linked to health issues.

2. Losing teeth with age is inevitable.

While losing teeth with age is common, it is totally possible to keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime with proper dental care. Dental health can decline with age for many reasons such as other health conditions, general wear and tear, and interactions between medications. Habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental check-ups can help ensure your teeth last a lifetime.

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3. Brushing hard equals cleaner teeth.

This is a very common misconception where people believe that brushing their teeth hard (or with more pressure) means they are getting the teeth cleaner. However, it's actually harmful to your tooth enamel. Tough brushes can wear down tooth enamel and damage gums -- leading to worn teeth and receding gums.

Dentists recommend using a soft (or extra soft) bristle brush and brushing in a gentle circular motion. If you're using an electric brush, you need to simply move it across each tooth; no need to apply any pressure. It is also recommended to avoid abrasive tooth paste.

4. If your gums bleed when you floss, it's best to leave them alone.

If your gums bleed after brushing or flossing, it likely means you have gingival inflammation or some level of gum disease (gingivitis). In this situation, you should continue to floss daily to help clean your teeth more thoroughly. The bleeding should stop after a week or two of continued flossing.

If things are left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis (gum infection). Periodontitis weakens and destroys the bones that support your teeth and it can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.

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5. If nothing is bothering you, you don't need to see the dentist.

Our final myth is also the most common and dangerous misconception. Dentistry is all about prevention and preventative care. When it comes to dental problems, most disease progression is silent and hidden. If your teeth start to hurt or feel loose it means the problem has gone from something that may have been either easily treated or reversible, to a much larger issue. If you wait until a cavity hurts to get it checked out, you could end up needing a root canal or an extraction that could have been prevented with regular checkups.

Stay on top of your dentist's recommended check-ups so they can help you notice things and protect your teeth before problems can occur.

Looking to improve your smile? Apply for a dental grant today and you could receive up to 30% towards your dental treatment.

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