There are misconceptions out there about oral health, dentistry, etc. Dr. Powers took some time to break down some of these myths to explain why they aren’t true. Being properly educated is the key to making the right decisions for your own health.
1. If the gums bleed from flossing, we need to stop flossing.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, bleeding gums is a major sign for us to get some additional help from our hygienists and dentists. Gums bleed due to inflammation, puffiness, and irritation.
This is especially the case if you have a lot of calculus buildup that needs to be addressed. Make that appointment with your hygienist and see what needs to be done from there. More likely than not, you will have to continue flossing more diligently!
2. Cavities are always the cause of toothaches.
Cavities can be a source of toothache, but that’s not always the case. More often than not, stress is a common cause of toothache because we tend to bite down extremely hard (unknowingly) when we’re stressed.
Our teeth have nerves underneath the tooth structure that we’re not able to see without uncovering the crown and dental structure. When constant pressure is put on these nerves, they can get bruised. This causes the toothache feeling that we get. Always check with your dentist for the actual cause, but if you notice that you’re clenching down due to stress, let’s get that addressed as well!
3. Brushing harder will make my teeth cleaner.
Just as getting good at a particular skill isn’t always about “working hard”, taking care of our teeth effectively isn’t always about brushing hard. In fact, you could do more damage if you’re constantly brushing with greater force than necessary.
Let’s remember that what we’re trying to remove from our teeth is plaque, which is a soft, mushy, gooey substance that can come off with gentle brushing and flossing. If there are calculus that needs to be addressed, our toothbrushes won’t be able to do the job; that’s when the hygienists need to come into play.
4. Sugar causes cavities.
Not necessarily the case here. Sugar is the food source of the bacteria that live inside our mouths. When the bacteria consume sugar, they excrete acids that soften the enamel structure of the tooth. Over time, this can lead to cavities.
In fact, if you left sugar on top of a tooth structure without any bacteria, it wouldn’t change even after a hundred years!
5. Widsom teeth always have to be removed.
Wisdom teeth need to be removed when they’re expected to cause issues. It’s ultimately a clinical call – a doctor needs to assess the situation and provide the best solution to either eliminate issues or avoid complications from happening.
However, there are cases when they do not need to be removed. Especially if the wisdom teeth are making contact with each other, meaning they’re helping with the chewing AND they can be cleaned. If they’re partially in and partially out, but you’re having issues keeping them clean – then they should probably be taken a look for extractions.
We hope that you found this information helpful in understanding your oral health so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
If you would like to speak with our team and see how we can take part in your dental journey, give us a call at 301-441-8686!