At Zen Triangle Dentistry, we hear a lot of misconceptions about oral health. Not only are these dental myths not true, they are harmful to your teeth and gums! We are here to dissect some of the most common myths that we encounter in our office and set patients straight with the correct information.
“If I brush harder, my teeth will be cleaner.”
Many people believe that vigorous brushing will make their teeth cleaner and brighter. The truth is, if you brush too hard or too frequently, you can actually harm your gums and tooth enamel. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), people should use soft-bristled toothbrushes and apply gentle pressure when brushing to avoid the risk of injury to the teeth and gum tissue. As a good indicator, look at the bristles of your toothbrush; if your brush isn’t more than a few months old and the bristles are already worn, there is a good chance you are brushing too hard.
“Since nothing hurts, I do not need to visit my dentist.”
A lack of oral pain is a good indicator that your mouth is healthy, but that doesn’t mean you should put off visits to your dentist. Routine appointments with your dentist twice a year are a vital part to maintaining your oral health. In fact, many dental issues don’t present symptoms in their early stages and can be identified only during a professional exam. If your dentist finds a problem early, it will be much easier and cost-effective to treat.
“It is normal that my gums bleed when I brush and floss.”
Occasionally, you may see small traces of blood in your mouth during routine oral hygiene. However, if your gums bleed every time you brush or floss, it is likely caused by too much food debris or plaque on your teeth. Plaque is the invisible, sticky substance that attacks the healthy gum tissue around your teeth. This leads to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, which is marked by inflamed, bleeding gums. Fortunately, if you identify gum disease early, it is easy and painless to treat. Always report bleeding gums to your dentist so we can recommend a treatment plan to prevent periodontitis — the most severe and irreversible form of gum disease. In the meantime, continue to be diligent about your brushing and flossing as these are the best ways to combat gingivitis.
“Baby teeth are not important.”
Baby teeth play a vital role in the development of a child’s oral health. Not only do they help kids chew, speak and smile, but they also serve as placeholders for incoming adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost prematurely as a result of poor dental health or injury, incoming adult teeth could shift into the empty spaces and make it difficult for new adult teeth to find room. This can lead to crowded and misaligned teeth, which will require additional dental and orthodontic treatment for a child down the road. Helping kids practice good dental habits at a young age will set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Not everything you read or hear about dental health is true. Always talk to your dentist if you have questions or concerns about your teeth or gums. We’re here to help! Knowledge is your best defense against dental health issues such as gum disease and tooth decay, so let’s work together to make sure you have the right information.