It’s April Fools’ Day! Many times people unknowingly share misinformation about oral hygiene because they don’t understand the facts. To avoid being ‘fooled’ today – and every day – let’s take a look at the truth behind some common dental myths.
Myth: If your parents have always had healthy teeth and gums, you will too.
Fact: It is true – genetics do play some role in your overall dental health. However, you still need to take care of your teeth if you want to prevent cavities and gum disease. It’s fantastic if you have the potential for a healthy mouth. Hopefully you can avoid comprehensive dental work down the line. But brushing and flossing regularly and having your teeth cleaned professionally every six months plays a much larger role in maintaining a beautiful smile.
Myth: If your teeth look fine, there’s no reason to see the dentist every six months.
Fact: There is a good reason why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting your dentist every six months. Regular visits are preventative. When your dentist sees you on a regular basis, he or she can identify problems when they are small and treat them before they become serious.
Myth: Brushing your teeth more than once a day will damage the enamel on your teeth.
Fact: It is very important to brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque and debris that causes cavities and gum disease. The ADA suggests using a toothbrush (manual or electric) with soft bristles.
Myth: If there’s no time to brush, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum has the same results.
Fact: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals will freshen your breath and remove some of the debris from your teeth. However, to remove plaque thoroughly you need to brush your teeth and then floss carefully in between them.
Myth: Don’t brush your teeth when your gums are bleeding.
Fact: Your gums will bleed if there is plaque and debris left on them. Try brushing your gums and flossing every time you brush. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a week or so, make an appointment to see your dentist. Sometimes bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, the early treatable stage of gum disease.
Myth: You can treat a toothache by placing an aspirin next to it.
Fact: Don’t put an aspirin on your gums. You can cause a chemical burn. Instead, rinse your mouth with warm water. Then use a dental floss or interdental cleaner to remove any debris from your teeth. If discomfort persists, contact a dentist.
Myth: Don’t visit the dentist when you are pregnant.
Fact: You should definitely avoid x-rays and dental surgeries during pregnancy. However, routine dental visits are safe for most women during pregnancy. Make sure the dentist knows that you are pregnant and what month you are in when you set up your appointment. Also let the dentist know if you have any swelling, redness or bleeding.
Have a great April Fool’s Day!
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/afoncubierta/11949478904