Here’s a dental health myth from yesteryear…in olden times, people believed they could cure a toothache by pounding a nail into an oak tree. Nowadays, we all recognize that this notion is just plain silly!
Today’s dental health myths are different. There are still some silly ideas about teeth and dental health that have very little to do with the facts. While we are not your dental team, Horner Barrow Orthodontics is very invested in the health of you and your smile, and we thought it would be fun to share this information with our patients. Have you ever fallen for one or more of these modern myths? Don’t feel bad if you did…many folks have.
Dental Health Myth 1 – Cavities are caused only by candies and sweets
Technically, cavities are caused by carbohydrates interacting with the bacteria on your teeth to create acid byproducts. Carbohydrates do include sugars, but cavities can just as easily be caused by starchy foods such as bread, crackers, and potato chips, and sticky foods like dried fruits, which can remain on your teeth, and break down into those decay-causing carbs.
Dental Health Myth 2 – Children are more likely to get cavities than adults
Kids are NOT inherently more prone to decay, they’re just not as good at brushing! Teach your child proper, thorough brushing techniques—helping them until they’re proficient enough at it to brush their teeth on their own.
Dental Health Myth 3 – No pain means no cavities, right?
Decay can eat right through enamel and dentin before some people feel it at all! Finding tooth decay early usually allows more of the tooth to be saved, and can save you added discomfort and expense.
Dental Health Myth 4 – I should stop flossing if my gums bleed
That’s a really bad idea. Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease (gingivitis). This occurs when bacterial infections inflame your gums due to a lack of proper, effective cleaning. Sure, floss gently if your gums are sensitive. But, do keep flossing, being thorough and extra diligent! If the bleeding continues, be sure to see your general dentist.
Dental Health Myth 5 – A tooth that’s had restoration work is stronger than ever
No, that’s not always true. One of the biggest risk factors for tooth decay is having had cavities in the past. Dental crowns and fillings are great, but they’re not perfect. They have little imperfections, those nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide, especially as your restorations age. The lesson to be learned? Have your teeth checked regularly to make sure everything is fine.
Dental Health Myth 6 – Braces are for teens only
That’s simply not true anymore. We treat a lot of adults. Many of our adult patients never had the opportunity to straighten their teeth as a teenager, or even if they did have braces, they may find their teeth shifting later in life. In any case, it’s never too late to give yourself a beautiful, confident smile with orthodontic treatment. Everyone, at any age, can benefit from a healthy, straight smile!
Remember, a great weapon against tooth decay is knowledge. If you have questions about any of the ideas above (or other questions) be sure to ask us during your next visit.
Thanks for sharing Horner Barrow Orthodontics with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. We appreciate the trust you place in us!