Dental Myths - Oh Yes, We've Heard 'em All
We have no idea who's spreading all these rumours (Cough - INTERNET) - but if you ever have any doubts as to what you're hearing from other people or reading off the web or anything related to your oral health, please - speak to a dental professional before changing your habits.
Myth 1) "Baby Teeth don't need to be cared for because 'they're going to fall out anyways'"
Baby teeth are important to maintain. They hold space until permanent teeth are ready to take their place - so premature loss of baby teeth can affect the way the adult teeth grow in.
If a child has a cavity and it is left untreated, it can also progress to the point where they need a root canal - a pulpectomy. Not only is a root canal costlier than a filling, it's also less pleasant for the child to have to go through. If it's still left untreated, the infection can spread and complications may arise - we can't imagine a child wanting this option either. Sometimes, parents opt to 'spare' the child of a root canal treatment and have the tooth in question extracted instead. But, as mentioned earlier, this can affect how the permanent teeth grow in.
Myth 2) "Braces are just for aesthetic improvement"
As we've said time and time again, aesthetics are secondary to functionality. When you go from crooked teeth to straight, you make it easier to brush and floss - ergo you'll have cleaner teeth and gums and less propensity towards decay.
It can impact your bite - to balance out the distribution of forces on both arches, and include all the teeth. When teeth are misaligned, there can be a couple that touch together, and others still, that don't meet when biting down. And that can be taken farther - because you won't experience excess wear on those few teeth that do touch - because straightening out the smile will distribute out the biting forces between more - or all of the teeth.
These are just some of the benefits of getting braces, so if you're still thinking about it, contact us for a consultation.
Myth 3) "My bad teeth are due to genetics"
You've heard the Nature vs Nurture Debate, yes? The one that pits environmental factors against factors you're born with - that results in how you turn out as a person. Well, it's a combination of both - not just for personality traits, but also for your teeth.
Yes, you can be born with 'stronger' teeth. But if you eat candy alllllll the live long day and don't take care of them, you might be predisposing yourself to dental decay and other dental issues.
And for some unfortunate people - you can be born with thinner enamel or you might've noticed that you and one of your parents 'gets all the dental problems' - Aha - you must have inherited their teeth. Interestingly, we always notice the genetic contribution - but we fail to notice that maybe your parents were your first caregivers and the first teachers of How to Brush and Floss. So yeah, we picked up our family's genetics....but we also learned dental health habits from them as well.
What's more fascinating still - is that the bacteria which causes gum disease isn't present in kids. It's transferred - often via utensil(s) and/or by sharing food with someone who has the periodontal disease bacteria strain(s). So - again, it wasn't the fact that you share DNA with these people - you were sharing food - an environmental factor!
So yes, genetics play a role in the health of your teeth - but so too does proper oral hygiene!
Myth 4) "If my gums are bleeding, I should stop brushing so it can heal"
If your gums are bleeding, they need to be brushed. Not aggressively. But they need to be brushed thoroughly.
Here's the background information: if you're not brushing well enough, bacteria and food gets trapped in the little crevices between your teeth, underneath the gum line - everywhere it can get stuck, it will get stuck. So if you have these little things getting caught and stuck in your mouth all the time, it's not clean. It's going to create inflammation - which means red, possibly swollen, irritated gums. And what bleeds easier than regular gums? Yup - these inflamed gums. So brush. And it might bleed a little more than usual in the beginning. But once you create a cleaner environment for your gums and teeth, you'll notice your gums strengthening and they won't bleed as easily. Then if you continue improving your dental hygiene, you'll stop seeing the blood on a regular basis. If you start neglecting the brushing and flossing, the bleeding might start up again. So make it a habit to brush and floss every day, two minutes each time.
Myth 5) "If something is wrong with my teeth, I'll feel it"
Not necessarily. Some people have a very high tolerance for discomfort and others have sensitivities to every little thing. There's no judgment here but we did want to raise this point because we've met people who have ground down their teeth almost to nubs, have been shown the images of their worn dentition and still don't believe that they grind their teeth at night.
Other times still, a problem in dentistry can contribute to symptoms which you may think are unrelated, but in reality has a connection. Going back to the grinding/clenching of the jaw - you may experience frequent headaches - and now that we mentioned it....hmmm - maybe they are related!
Myth 6) "I don't need to come for routine cleaning because I brush and floss daily"
We think we've been in this business long enough to know when we're being snubbed, LOL. But truth is, professional cleaning does way more than just brushing and flossing:
We get underneath the gumline
We tackle the biofilm
We can spot potential as well as existing problems and can address them for you
When we can't see with our naked eye, we have the tools (e.g. x-rays) to look deeper