Your Teeth: What’s true and what’s not
1. “You only need to go to the dentist if your teeth hurt.”
You might be aware of the saying “prevention is better than cure.” What is relatively less heard of is that diagnosing and curing a tooth problem at an earlier stage is much easier and cost-effective than if it were to be addressed later.
2. “Flossing can create spaces between your teeth.”
Flossing does not create spaces between your teeth. In fact, flossing helps prevent decay between your teeth. When you floss, you’re removing food debris nestled around your teeth and gums, which helps keep them healthy and removes harmful bacteria.
3. “It’s only a baby tooth.”
Baby teeth are very important! They provide the necessary space for permanent teeth to line up underneath the gums and grow in properly. Cavities in baby teeth—if not addressed right away—can cause tooth loss much earlier than is natural, resulting in a space.
4. “It doesn’t matter what time of day I brush.”
While we recommend each of our patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, brushing at a certain time does have an impact on your oral health. At night when we sleep, our salivary glands produce less saliva. During the day our saliva flow is higher and it provides a cleansing effect that we don’t get at night.
5. “Diet sodas are okay to drink because they don’t have sugar in them.”
Though diet sodas don’t have cavity-causing sugars in them, they still are highly acidic. Our mouth has acid-loving bacteria that contribute to cavities. Diet sodas have a pH level of about 2-3, while water is neutral at a pH level of 7
6. “Oral health is not connected to the rest of the body.”
Your oral health is connected to your systemic (overall) health and there are many correlations between your mouth and body. A mouth with severe tooth decay and periodontal disease is more likely to cause bacteria to enter into the bloodstream and result in other health issues.
7. “My teeth are unhealthy because I’m aging.”
Aging is not an automatic factor in deteriorating oral health. Those who take care of their teeth during their childhood and adult years will still have healthy teeth in their senior years.
8. “Brushing Harder Cleans Better.”
The harder you brush, the more trauma the tooth enamel and gum tissue endure. It can eventually lead to other problems such as gum recession.
9. Chewing Gum Works like Brushing
Some chewing gums serve as aids to oral health, they still don’t reach the level of being able to replace brushing your teeth.
10. White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth
Whiter teeth are not always healthier teeth. Teeth begin white, and over time, they can become discolored through staining or damage. If your teeth are losing their luster, speak to your dentist about why.
11. Bleeding Gums Are Normal
Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing is due to inflammation of the gums. Gums can become inflamed and begin to bleed due to excessive plaque buildup, the onset of gingivitis, gum disease or other causes.
12. All wisdom teeth must be removed.
Reality: As long as the wisdom teeth can erupt and function correctly, they do not need to be removed
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