When it comes to our health there are a lot of “remedies” and “beliefs” that have been passed down from generation to generation. In fact, many of these have become woven into the fabric of our lives that we now consider them factual and actual “cures” for various ailments – regardless of whether that can be proved scientifically. The same is true when it comes to your teeth and dental health. Below are 5 common myths and dental misconceptions and the reality behind them.
- If there isn’t something visible wrong with my teeth (and they don’t hurt), I don’t need to visit a dentist.
Oh, the lengths we’ll go to avoid seeing a dentist! The fact is, you want your teeth to be as healthy as possible, and the best way to keep them that way is to see a dentist on a regular basis – normally 2 times per year for cleaning and a thorough dental exam. This is your “early detection” system, so that your dentist can identify simple issues before they turn into big – and costly – problems with your dental health.
- If I have a toothache, putting an aspirin next to the tooth will relieve the pain.
Yeah, no. Home dental remedies like this (and the baby version of using brandy for teething) can actually do more harm than good. The aspirin could, in fact, produce chemical burns that would actually be more painful. The bottom line: don’t do it – see your dentist.
- Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can replace brushing your teeth.
While chewing sugarless gum may clean your teeth and freshen your breath, it is not a good idea to make this a regular substitute – brushing is always best. Oh, and by the way, don’t chew that gum for more than 10 minutes or so.
- You can use sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) as a teeth whitener.
Actually, sodium bicarbonate will whiten your teeth as it removes stains from coffee, tea, soda, etc. However, sodium bicarbonate is an abrasive, and can damage your teeth’s enamel, which will weaken your teeth and can lead to other dental problems. It also doesn’t kill bacteria, so if you are using straight baking power/water to clean your teeth, just keep in mind that it won’t prevent cavities. There are so many other teeth whitening solutions out there that are more effective and less harmful – talk to your dentist about which one would be right for you.
- The more you brush, the better it is for your teeth.
For those that are obsessed with having a perfect white smile, this seems to make complete sense. However, there are some drawbacks. Every time you brush your teeth, you are wearing down the enamel on your teeth that helps prevent tooth decay. In general, brushing 3 times a day is plenty. And, don’t forget to floss daily as well!
Looking for a new dentist? If you are in the Orange County area, give Dr. Roth a call at 949-855-0450 to set up an appointment!