Hearsay often does more damage than good. Here is a list of a few common dental care
myths that must be busted to ensure good oral health.
- MYTH: Using a hard toothbrush will clean the teeth better than a soft toothbrush.
FACT: Using a hard toothbrush can result in scratching the surface of the tooth. This will eventually make your teeth sensitive. A soft toothbrush, used properly, will clean the teeth with less risk of enamel loss and dental problems.
- MYTH: Putting an Aspirin directly on the tooth can instantly relieve tooth ache.
FACT: Placing Aspirin directly on the aching tooth can cause an acidic chemical burn in the gums and lips. The only safe and effective way to take an aspirin tablet is to swallow it. However, the latest guidelines of the US Pharmacopeia say that Aspirin blocks pain receptors permanently & hence using an NSAID pain killer is better than using Aspirin.
- MYTH: Tooth decay is not contagious.
FACT: Transmission of the bacteria that cause tooth decay occurs from mothers to infants. Thus, it is best for mothers to not share their utensils with their kids to avoid dental problems from getting passed on.
- MYTH: The more sugar you eat, the worse your teeth will get.
FACT: If you eat anything sugary, in excess, and brush your teeth immediately it is less harmful than eating something sugary, in moderation, but not brushing at all.
- MYTH: People who don’t have cavities as children have nothing to worry about later on.
FACT: Dental history does matter. But the present condition due to a dry mouth, medication or a change in diet, etc., determines whether or not you will have cavities. Usually people end up with cavities as adults due to dental negligence.
- MYTH: Stay away from any dental work during pregnancy.
FACT: It is important to have regular check-ups and recommended treatment during pregnancy to help prevent problems for both mother and child. X-ray’s & traumatic dental treatments should be avoided during pregnancy. All dental check-ups should be strictly done before pregnancy.
- MYTH: Bad breath means you are a bad brusher.
FACT:Bad breath can be caused by several factors, only one of which is poor dental hygiene. The foods you eat can be a major culprit. Bad breath may also be an indicator of medical conditions such as Kidney Disease, Diabetes etc.
- MYTH: Raw food is good for the teeth.
FACT: A raw diet, often high in citrus fruits and acidic foods can lead to the enamel being eroded by acids from these foods. Always consult your dentist on what is the best raw food you can consume.
- MYTH: Only older people get oral cancer.
FACT: People at all ages are prone to developing oral cancer. A routine check-up with your dentist is a must. Oral cancer is the second most common cancer after breast cancer.
- MYTH: Bleaching weakens teeth.
FACT: Teeth bleaching only affects the colour of the teeth, not their health or strength. Bleaching products are generally harmless if used according to the directions. Make sure you get your bleaching done from a qualified dentist & adhere to the instructions given.
- MYTH: Wisdom teeth must be removed.
FACT: Unless the teeth have not emerged properly or are over-crowding the mouth, Wisdom teeth need not be removed. Usually, till the time they cause us any pain or discomfort, they can be left behind.
- MYTH: Expectant mothers always loose a tooth.
FACT: While hormonal changes can cause gum inflammation and acid from morning sickness can erode the surface of the enamel, good oral hygiene can help expectant moms maintain a healthy mouth. However, if pre-pregnancy evaluations are done, these problems can be avoided.
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