When it comes to dental, myths are everywhere to be found. From the way dentist used to do things (though a lot of these stories are not myths at all!), to cutting corners when it comes to oral health. The spectrum is big and wide, so here are some of those myths busted!
- “The harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be”
Actually, it is completely the opposite. When we brush too hard or when the tooth brush that is too abrasive, several things can go wrong. One, we can damage our teeth by abrading the protective layer of the enamel of the tooth. Also, we can wear down our gums, causing them to bleed or even recede. Gums can be very sore when they have been damaged, sometimes making us think we have a tooth ache when in fact is the ligament damaged and the pain has nothing to do with the tooth itself.
- “Only sugar causes tooth decay”
If our sugar intake is too high, especially when it comes to processed sugar, we are definitively increasing the risk of getting tooth decay. To be more technical, it’s all about bacteria activity; our teeth get damaged by the acid produced by the bacteria and just so happens, bacteria love sugar. However, if you eat very frequently, you are increasing your bacteria activity as well, so it’s a good idea to try to stick to three main meals a day and rinse after your meals or chew sugar-free gum. Also, be very careful with the hidden sugars in your food, not only sweet foods have a high content of sugar, starchy carbohydrates – found in a lot of savoury foods like chips and crackers- can lead quickly to the formation of cavities. If you see in a label ingredients such as fructose, glucose, maltose or sucrose that means they have sugar!
- “White teeth are healthy teeth”
Everyone thinks white teeth are the ultimate goal when it comes to oral health, and even though they most probably look very pretty, it doesn’t mean there isn’t hidden decay in between some teeth or there could be other oral health conditions that might need to be assessed. So, if you have really nice white teeth, it’s still a really good idea to visit your dentist to make sure your teeth are as healthy as they look!
- “Chewing gum is as good as brushing your teeth”
First, there is a big difference in chewing sugary chewing gum and sugar free chewing gum. If it has sugar, then no, it might do more damage than good. Sugar-free gum does encourage the production of saliva, which helps to wash away acid and sugar build-up on the teeth. So, it is a good idea to chew sugar-free gum after each meal, but it will never replace your twice daily brushing and flossing.
- “Diet drinks are a healthy option for your teeth”
The fact that diet drinks do not have sugar, is a good plus, but they are still bad for your teeth as the acidic content is really high in these beverages. An acidic diet will wear away the protective layer of the enamel of your teeth, making them sensitive and vulnerable to damage.
- “Gum disease only affects your mouth”
Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, so any diseases you may have in your mouth, like gum disease, may lead to other conditions in the rest of your body. Untreated gum disease increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular conditions and also diabetes.
How much of this information did you actually applied in your life thinking it was true? It is crazy how much myths are around there in regards to our teeth and oral health. Dr. Pieter, Dr. Lina and Dr. Brandon will happily help you keep a healthy smile!