Mythbusting the Most Common Dental Myths
It’s amazing what people will believe about dentistry and teeth! Some long-held beliefs are old wives tales that have been perpetuated over the years, while others are just plain ol’ absurd! At Reston Serenity Smiles, we want our patients to be educated about their dental health; to accomplish that, we’ll need to bust some of the most common dental myths around.
Myth #1 — If my teeth are healthy, then I don’t need to go to the dentist.
Wrong! Only a trained dental professional can tell for sure if your teeth are healthy, and even if they are, you still need to visit the dentist. We do a LOT more than just clean your teeth at your semi-annual appointments, we check for signs of gum disease and oral cancers, we identify sources of pain, and we make sure your teeth are strong and healthy. Regular visits are necessary to prevent potentially painful and expensive problems in the future.
Myth #2 — Bleeding gums are normal.
Nope. If your gums are bleeding, then something is wrong. Unless you’re scrubbing your teeth with steel wool, healthy gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush or floss. If they do bleed, you may be in the beginning stages of gum disease. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States, so if there is pink in the sink after you brush, make an appointment to see your dentist ASAP!
Myth #3 — A thorough brushing is just as good as flossing.
Not even close. Even when you brush your teeth after every meal, microscopic food particles and plaque can build between the teeth and along the gumline. Floss is still the most effective way of removing these decay-causing invaders before they harden to tartar and begin to cause cavities or gum disease. No matter how well or often you brush, flossing daily is a necessary part of your dental health regimen.
Myth #4 — Baby teeth are going to fall out, anyway, so they don’t require dental checkups.
While it’s true that a decayed baby tooth will eventually be replaced with a healthy adult tooth, the decayed baby tooth will cause great pain. Little ones need to visit the dentist regularly in order to ensure that their teeth are coming in properly, to prevent painful decay, and to make sure their gums, lips, and mouth are healthy, as well. Another very important reason to bring young children to the dentist is to help them develop a positive association with dentistry (which may reduce any fears they might have later in life).
Myth #5 — Pregnant women should not visit the dentist.
Pregnant women experience hormonal fluctuations that may make them more prone to gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay. For these reason and others, it is important for mothers-to-be to visit the dentist as recommended. While x-rays and other procedures may be avoided during pregnancy, a professional cleaning and an exam can help prevent the most common dental problems. If you are pregnant, be sure to let your dentist know when you arrive.
There are many other dental myths to bust, but this list can get you started. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Continue brushing, flossing, and visiting Reston Serenity Smiles; while you’re there, ask us any questions you might have about dentistry and we’ll be sure to set you straight.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment, contact our office today. We serve patients from Reston, Virginia, and the surrounding areas.