With so much information out there about dental health, it can be hard to distinguish what information is accurate. Today, our team at Shane McDowell, DMD is debunking common dental myths to help you with your dental hygiene routine.
Myth: Brushing alone is sufficient enough to keep teeth clean
While brushing is a very important aspect of keeping teeth clean and healthy, you also need to floss, which removes food debris and bacteria from between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Myth: Hard and soft bristled toothbrushes are the same
Soft-bristled toothbrushes are actually a little better for your teeth, as they get teeth and gums clean but without any damage. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can cause damage to gums, causing them to shrink away and wear away tooth enamel.
Myth: If your gums bleed, it’s best not to brush your teeth
Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis or unhealthy gums. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, which if left untreated can lead to Periodontitis, inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. If you have bleeding gums, you should have a dental consult as soon as possible. Until then, continue to brush, but make sure you do so gently with a soft-bristled brush.
Myth: The only cause of bad breath is not taking care of your teeth
There are multiple reasons why someone may have bad breath. Smoking and eating certain food types can affect breath. In addition, dental infections including gum disease or an abscessed tooth can cause bad breath. If you are experiencing bad breath, see a dentist for a consultation.
Myth: Bleaching weakens teeth
Whitening teeth only affects the color of the teeth, not the health or strength. Bleaching works by removing some of the teeth’s pigmentation. Temporary side effects of bleaching can include tooth sensitivity and irritated gums – but it does not result in weaker teeth.
Myth: Only sugar from sweets and desserts are bad for your teeth
Depending on your dental hygiene habits, sugar from any kind of food can affect the health of your teeth. Many foods have sugar in them, not just candy. Both natural and processed sugars can cause tooth decay if they stay on teeth. It’s best to brush at least 2x per day and floss daily to prevent sugar from causing decay or infection. Even rinsing your teeth with water after you’ve eaten a lot of sugar can help prevent dental issues.
Myth: Tooth sensitivity means you have tooth decay
Cavities can cause sensitivity in teeth, but it’s not the sole reason why you may be experiencing sensitivity. Sensitivity can be a symptom of teeth grinding, gum disease, excessive plaque, and cracked teeth. If you have sensitivity after a dental procedure, that is common and will go away after a short time.
Myth: Gaps in teeth lead to cavities
Actually, the bigger the gap, the easier it is to properly clean. So as long as you keep up with your dental hygiene routine and keep bacteria out of the spaces, they will actually be less prone to decay.
Myth: You should avoid the dentist when pregnant
It’s important that women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant visit their dentist’s office for a check-up to ensure that teeth and gums are healthy. It is best to make sure there is no dental procedure needed early on as a preventative measure. For more information about dental health before or during your pregnancy, click here.
Myth: Teeth-whitening treatments take too long
We offer a few different options for whitening procedures, and based on your personal needs we will advise which we think is a good fit for you. Teeth-whitening treatments come in a variety of options, but at Shane McDowell Dentistry, we offer Zoom Whitening, which is an in-office treatment that will make your teeth whiter in just over an hour. How it works is the Zoom Advanced Power Chairside Lamp accelerates the whitening process with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Our at-home whitening kits will produce similar results in about 4-6 weeks.
Our practice provides a full array of dental care services including general dentistry, implants, and cosmetic dentistry. For questions about our dental services, contact our office at (239) 936-0597 or request an appointment.