Dental Myths pt. 1

Most of the information we hear comes to us secondhand. This in and of itself is no problem, and is only natural; getting to the author of every single article, blurb and blog post you read would be difficult, if not impossible. But these facts, aside from saving you time, also frequently arrive to you with distortions, and with content that is not exactly true, but merely resembles the truth. The world of dentistry is rife with such myths, and we have gathered some of the most popular ones here to extract the kernel of truth that they have in them, and expose the husk for the fraud that it really is.

1.The more expensive the toothpaste, the better it is

Whether or not the price is indicative of the quality depends solely on the manufacturer. There are several websites dedicated to testing toothpastes, and they almost invariably find that quality is not dependant on price. Cheap but effective toothpaste does exist, and high quality, expensive brands have proven to be failures before, too. What is important is to find toothpaste that fits our specific needs. In order to do so, you may want to consult your dentist, or you can read an article that we did on toothpaste:

2.If your gums are bleeding, don’t brush them

Bleeding gums are a sign of periodontitis, or some other form of gum diseases, which can be caused by a myriad of things. Do not make light of it, as a periodontal infection can quickly lead to gum recession or expansion, if it is not taken care of in time. Do not under any circumstances stop brushing your teeth! Bacterial build up around infected gums is the last thing you need, as the presence of bacteria in an already weakened oral environment will just cause more infection and more problems. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and get around our bodies, and can end up in various places in our system. What you should do with bleeding gums is contact your dentist immediately, and switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles.

3.Brushing too often will hurt your tooth enamel

Brushing twice a day is recommended for everyone, regardless of tooth enamel or any other issue, and flossing once a day is also needed to keep your teeth clean. This way, your body will be able to thwart the remaining bacteria, and you will most likely not have to deal with tooth decay. If you want t brush more often, that is fine, but make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles, otherwise you can start to remove your enamel by constantly brushing it.

4.Brushing after a meal can be replaced by chewing sugar free gum or gum with xylitol

While it is true that saliva production intensifies during chewing, and that chewing sugar free gum is actually good for your teeth, brushing them is much more effective at removing bacteria and plaque. If you do not have time to brush after lunch or after a meal, chewing gum is a fine way of cleaning your teeth, but it is no replacement of brushing. Xylitol is a substance that is better for teeth than sugar, but is a natural sweetener.


5.White teeth are healthy teeth

Most of us are not dentists, and thus have no business making that judgment call. Teeth frequently start to decay from the inside, showing no external signs. Another frequent place for cavitation is between teeth, near the gum line, and this is also invisible and the teeth will be perfectly white. Don’t judge a tooth based on its color, an x-ray can tell you much more.

6.You only need to go to the dentist if you have a problem

You should go to half year checkups every six months, even if it feels like nothing is, wrong. It’s difficult to tell with certainty if there is anything wrong, and the dentist will help you prevent anything from happening. So if you don’t want surprise fillings, root canals and extractions, make sure you keep those half year checkups.

7.If you put painkillers on the tooth that hurts, the pain will stop sooner


You should use painkillers in the way that the instruction manual tells you to. Medicine that isn’t supposed to dissolve in the mouth may hurt your teeth and gums if left to do so. If you want to use a topical, use ice or warm, used tea leaves, and there are many other ones you can use right here:

8.    You should just get wisdom teeth pulled

Only get an extraction of any tooth if it is medically necessary and has been confirmed by a dentist. If the root of the wisdom tooth is straight, and our jaw has enough space, than the tooth will grow out. And removing a perfectly healthy tooth for no reason is just plain dumb.

9.    A filled tooth will not decay again

If only this were true. If you do not care for your filled tooth, it will decay further, and more cavities will appear on it. And there is the issue of a filling may not have been put in properly. If this is the case, the decay may have never stopped to begin with.

10. If the tooth is decayed, instead of treatment, just get it pulled

The primary objective is always to save the tooth. There are many methods today that allow us to save even a severely decayed tooth, from fillings and root canals all the way to interventions before decay begins. If all else fails, and the tooth is beyond saving, then, and only then is an extraction medically acceptable. The final decision is always yours, but you should consult with a medical professional before making the decision.

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