Dental Myths 2

In our first segment, we showed you 10 dental myths and their refutations. The previous myths included the belief that more expensive toothpaste is necessarily better, that chewing gum negates the need to brush teeth, that decayed teeth need to be extracted, and other such nonsense. The list was far from complete though, and this week we are going to expose another 10 ridiculous dental misunderstandings that are prevalent.

1.      Too much chocolate will rot your teeth

This is not entirely true. If you do not brush or rinse or chew some sugar free gum after eating sweets, you are very likely to find yourself with cavities. This is not a property unique to chocolate though, it is a property unique to carbohydrates, of which certain chocolates contain more of than others. The sugary starchy bits of food that get stuck between your teeth are perfect for bacteria to live in, and these are what cause tooth decay. Eating too much chocolate, if you take care of your teeth, will “only” make you fat.


2.      Using toothpicks will make the gaps in your teeth bigger

Toothpicks are used for only a short period of time, so you cannot possibly expect your teeth to move because of them. They can cause damage though, as they are made out of wood, which can break and splinter, and end up damaging your gums. Instead of using toothpicks, use dental floss to remove bits of food. There are many different varieties around today, so you are sure to find something that is pleasing.

3.      The effects of tooth whitening do not last long

This is only partially false. There are different kinds of tooth whitening treatments available, but none of them last longer than 6 to 12 months. After this time, our teeth will gradually revert back to their original color. It is also true that the more you use tooth whitening, the shorter each one will last. A whitening session is good for your teeth though, and is a good idea before a wedding for example, but just be aware that the effects are not permanent.

4.      Tooth whitening sessions are bad for your teeth

Many kinds of tooth whitening methods exist, and most of them do not tax your enamel even in the slightest way. Danger only exists in at home whitening methods, because the threat of having them done improperly is larger. Certain chemical compounds can be bad for your teeth or gums, especially if they are used repeatedly, but these are now against the law. Still, patients with dentine hypersensitivity, pregnant women, and patients with weak oral mucosa are advised to not partake in tooth whitening sessions. If you fit one of these categories, but still want a whitening session, we advise you to get a chair side whitening, and speak to your dentist about your problems first. This way, negative side effects can be minimized or foregone altogether.

5.      Sodium bicarbonate is a good tooth whitening alternative that is safe for your teeth

Sadly this is not entirely true. Sodium bicarbonate can be just as bad for your teeth as the aforementioned other chemical compounds. The problem with bicarbonate is that the granules are quite large and rather rough, and when you scrub your teeth with them, they can really end up hurting your tooth enamel. Instead of using sodium bicarbonate, you should use some product which has smaller grains of sodium bicarbonate in it, and many such pastes and products exist.


6.      You inherit healthy teeth

Genetics obviously plays a role in what kind of dentition you will have, but it is by no means an exclusive or all pervasive thing, and it also does not mean that someone who inherited worse teeth can or should do nothing to minimize the risks of tooth decay. Even the healthiest, prettiest of teeth can fall victim to decay, if you do not take care of them, they may take longer though. It doesn’t matter how bad your teeth are initially, if you take care of your teeth and use appropriate dental hygiene techniques, you should have no problems until later in life.

7.      Foods that are too hot, too cold can harm your teeth

If you eat some hot soup, or a nice cold ice cream, nothing will happen to your tooth enamel, nothing at all. The problem is when you eat things that are too hot or too cold on a regular basis. In these cases tiny cracks can start appearing on your tooth enamel which is caused by sudden changes in temperature. This can make teeth sensitive as well.

8.      Milk teeth do not need to be taken care of, as they will fall out anyway

This idea is patently absurd. If you do not brush and care for milk teeth, those will decay, cause pain, and cause gum infections, and will make them fall out prematurely. The child will not be able to chew and bite properly, not to mention the emotional stress that comes with not having nice teeth. It is vital to teach your kids proper oral hygiene in childhood, this way they will be able to have good oral hygiene later on in life.

9.      Dental procedures are painful

Those who say this usually have a few unpleasant experiences of their own. But in the 21st century, there are several kinds of anesthetics, so dental procedures should not hurt at all. Do not be afraid to find a dentist who cares about their patients, and you should not experience such problems.              

10.  Don’t go to the dentist while pregnant

Since any and all bacterial infections and chronic inflammations can be harmful to the fetus, it is not just beneficial, but highly recommended that pregnant women go to the dentist 3 or maybe even 4 times during their pregnancy. There are a few surgical procedures and dental treatments, x-rays that are best to wait with. A consultation session with your dentist should clear up any and all questions you may have.

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