It might be Halloween, but we want to shine the light on those common dental fears and misconceptions so that you can feel better about your dental hygiene.
Read on as we expose these 12 dental myths for the hocus pocus they are!
1. Brushing harder means cleaner teeth
In reality, you could be doing more harm than good by eroding your dental enamel which can lead to sensitivity and yellowing of the teeth. It’s recommended you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush for two minutes twice a day.
2. Dental X-rays are dangerous
The reality is the radiation involved in four bitewing dental X-rays is comparable to that received on a short-haul airplane flight. Considering we are subjected to background radiation all the time, dental X-rays are largely negligible. On the plus side, they can help spot dental decay to preserve your natural teeth for longer.
3. Expect to lose your teeth as you age!
In reality, more of us than ever before are keeping our natural teeth thanks to advances in medicine and minimally invasive dentistry. Even if you do have some missing teeth, dental implants are an effective and natural looking way to fill the gaps.
4. Flossing is pointless
The media loves it when research appears to prove flossing has no benefit. In reality, flossing can help remove trapped food and plaque buildup which can lead to decay and gum disease. The results are there are on the floss once you’ve finished!
5. Electric toothbrushes are better than manual
So long as you’re able to reach all areas of your mouth and brush effectively enough to remove plaque, it makes no difference if you use a manual or electric toothbrush. The main difference is electric is usually easier, especially for impaired or older individuals. Plus, those with built-in timers can help you keep to the two-minute recommended brushing time.
6. Only sugar causes cavities
While this might be true, it’s not the only culprit. Starchy carbs like white bread, pasta and crisps also break down into sugars, while dried fruit and other trapped food particles that stay in the mouth for a long time can be behind your decay. The key is reducing the amount of time the sugar is in contact with your teeth – which means eating your Halloween treats in one go rather than nursing them throughout the day.
7. Root canal treatment is really painful
Somewhere along the line root canal treatment became a byword for something awful. But you are unlikely to feel any pain during the process thanks to effective local anaesthetic used to numb the area. The reality is you will likely have felt pain before the treatment due to the infection in the tooth, and may feel a little discomfort for a couple of days after the procedure. But that’s it!
8. Sensitivity means your teeth are beyond help
Sensitive teeth are a symptom of enamel erosion, but it doesn’t have to be caused by sugar attacks. DIY whitening treatments and toothpastes as well as gum recession could be to blame. The only way to know is to book a checkup with your dentist. They will advise on the best sensitive toothpastes to prevent pain.
9. Always rinse after brushing your teeth
In actual fact, if you rinse with mouthwash or water after brushing, you dilute the protective effects of the fluoride. The best approach is to spit out any excess toothpaste rather than wash it away.
10. White teeth equal healthy teeth
While white teeth do look healthier, there can be more to it. Many people whiten their teeth to cover up poor dental hygiene or a bad diet or lifestyle habits like smoking. On the flip side, things like drinking lots of coffee, certain medications and also the ageing process could be behind teeth yellowing, even if you maintain a perfectly healthy oral hygiene routine.
11. Pregnancy and breastfeeding cause your teeth to fall out
We’ve covered this one before, and it isn’t true! Many pregnant and post-pregnancy women experience hormonal changes which make it harder to effectively remove plaque and could lead to more dental complaints. But breastfeeding itself doesn’t mean you lose calcium deposits.
12. You only need to go to the dentist when you’re in pain
Truthfully? By the time toothache has set in your dental problems may require more invasive treatment. It’s always best to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup so they can spot any changes and problems early, to keep your teeth in the best shape.
Book your appointment at our Notting Hill dental surgery today.