Top 10 Dental Myths Debunked

Fuquay Varina DentistIn addition to providing teeth cleanings and check-ups, filling cavities, teeth whitening, and other cosmetic and family dentistry services, we strive to ensure every patient has accurate, up-to-date information that allows them to make the best decisions for their dental health. We know that there are a lot of myths surrounding what’s good and what’s not good for your teeth, so our Fuquay Varina dentist is taking an opportunity to debunk those myths and offer the best information to care for your teeth.

Sugar Causes Tooth Decay

Okay, we’re starting out big with this one. Sugar is terrible for your teeth and can lead to cavities, but it’s not a straight shot from sugar to decay. Instead, bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth feeds off sugar and when this happens, acid forms that attacks the enamel and leads to decay, cavities, and gum disease. While sodas, candy, and other high-sugar foods are the most damaging, starchy foods like bread or potatoes break down into sugar that can be just as damaging. Taking care to brush twice a day, floss before bed, and drink water after meals will remove the bacteria-filled plaque and the food particles that feed it.

Teeth Whitening Damages Enamel

Teeth whitening gels and products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which work as oxidizing agents to break down surface stains. Professional whitening that is overseen by a dentist is the safest and most effective way to remove and “bleach” discoloring and staining on teeth. Over-the-counter methods that have the American Dental Association seal are also safe when used as directed, but the key is following the instructions and not overusing the products or letting them sit on the teeth for longer than recommended.

Mouthwash with alcohol is better

Mouthwash should not contain alcohol as it is drying to the mouth. Not only can it irritate gum and mouth tissues, it can hinder saliva production that is necessary to keeping your teeth rinsed through the day. If you want a mouthwash that keeps your breath fresh and your mouth healthy, look for the ADA seal and an alcohol-free option, like Crest Pro-Health or ACT Total Care.

Kids Get More Cavities Than Adults

This may have been true in the past, but thanks to fluoride in tap water, cavities and improved dental health in school-aged children are on the decline. Conversely, cavities are on the rise in senior citizens due to issues including:

  • Dry mouth caused by medication
  • Access to a dentist is decreased
  • Brushing and flossing can be hindered due to arthritis or mobility issues.

Aspirin Placed Against a Tooth Will Ease a Toothache

Aspirin is acidic and could actually burn your gum tissue as it dissolves. If you have a toothache, call your dentist to make an appointment, then ingest the proper dose of aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the pain until your dentist can see you.

You Can Detect a Cavity On Your Own

By the time a cavity is visible to the naked eye or is causing pain, you may be at risk for an abscess, tooth loss or a root canal. On the other hand, a dentist can detect cavities as soon as they are beginning to form thanks to digital x-rays that show what’s happening in the enamel.

Brushing More Than Once a Day Can Damage Enamel

It’s important to remove plaque through brushing at least twice a day, and as long as you’re using the right brush and method, your enamel is safe. In fact, using a fluoride toothpaste will help remineralize your enamel and make it stronger. A soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently for two minutes in an up and down motion will keep enamel healthy.

Don’t Brush Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are often caused by a buildup of plaque or food debris caused by not brushing and inflammation at the gum line. Gently brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing to remove debris and plaque is key to your gums healing. However, it’s also important to see a dentist if it continues to happen.

Baby Teeth Don’t Need Care Because They Fall Out

It’s important to teach your children good oral hygiene habits early on. Cavities and early tooth loss in baby teeth can affect speech in small children as well as bite and alignment issues as the adult teeth move in.

Poor Oral Hygiene Only Affects the Mouth

Brushing your teeth actually helps protect your heart. Inflammation from periodontal disease has been linked to greater risk of cardiovascular disease and can lead to a heart attack.

Schedule a Checkup with Our Fuquay Varina Dentist Today

If you or a family member is overdue for a dental checkup, is experiencing pain, or you need to establish care with a new dentist in Fuquay-Varina, reach out to us today at 919-552-2431 or fill out the form below.

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