Myth 1: My teeth feel and look fine. I don’t need to see the dentist every six months.
The truth: Regular dental visits every six months are preventive care for your teeth and gums. Cavities often form between your teeth where you can’t see them. Dentists have the training and tools to detect a cavity long before it becomes painful. If you go for dental cleanings twice a year, you can tackle a dental issue before it becomes a dental emergency.
Myth 2: The more sugar you eat, the bigger risk there is for cavities.
The truth: Sugar alone is not the sole cause of tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth feed off carbohydrates, such as sugar, and produce an acid. This acid begins to eat away at the enamel on your teeth. It’s not so much the amount of sugar you eat but the amount of time the sugar stays on your teeth. Basically, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying something sweet in moderation, but brush soon after eating it instead of letting the sugar linger in your mouth.
Myth 3: Children get more cavities than adults.
The truth: Thanks to fluoride being added to tap water cavities in children have dropped considerably. Adults are just as susceptible to cavities if they not brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Some medications cause dry mouth in adults and can make them more prone to cavities.
Myth 4: I shouldn’t brush if my gums are bleeding.
The truth: Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing are essential to good oral health. Gums often bleed when plaque builds up or food debris is not removed when brushing and flossing. The best way to ensure your gums don’t bleed is by gently brushing them daily. If your gums continue to bleed, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marra. Bleeding can be associated gingivitis and other medical conditions.
Myth 5: Using a hard bristle toothbrush is better for your teeth.
The truth: Toothbrushes with hard, stiff bristles are abrasive and can scrape the enamel on your teeth. In addition, hard bristles are tougher on your gums and are more likely to cause bleeding. A soft bristle brush is the best choice.
Myth 6: Place an aspirin next to your tooth to stop a toothache.
The truth: Your grandmother is probably right about a lot of things, but this is not one of them. An aspirin must be swallowed to alleviate tooth pain. Aspirin is an acid, and it can irritate the gums or other soft tissue in your mouth if left for too long.
Myth 7: Baby teeth don’t matter because they’re going to fall out.
The truth: Baby teeth maintain proper structure in a growing mouth. They also serve as a guide for permanent teeth to move in behind them. Losing baby teeth prematurely can lead to crowding of permanent teeth. Good oral hygiene habits start young. Parents can actually start before teeth come in by wiping down your baby’s gum’s with a washcloth before bedtime. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they appear to prevent cavities. Tooth decay in baby teeth can cause pain and discomfort and even abscess if not treated. Healthy baby teeth also aid in speech development and foster good nutrition through proper chewing.
Myth 8: Bleaching your teeth will make them weak.
The truth: Some people fear that bleaching teeth is harmful or can even weaken your teeth, but this is false. If used according to package directions, over-the counter bleaching products are harmless.
It’s important to remember that bleaching only impacts the color of your teeth and has nothing to do with the health or strength of the teeth. There can be side effects from bleaching your teeth too often though. These include temporary tooth and gum sensitivity.
If you want to whiten without worries, talk to Dr. Marra to see if you are a good candidate for in-office bleaching. It’s the most effective in-office teeth whitening procedure available, and it only takes an hour.
Myth 9: Bad breath means bad oral hygiene.
The truth: Yes, not brushing your teeth regularly causes bad breath, but bad breath isn’t always a sign of poor hygiene. Your diet can lead to stinky breath too. Foods containing onion and garlic are two of the biggest culprits.
Chronic bad breath is sometimes a sign of an underlying health issue. If you’re brushing and flossing regularly and struggle with bad breath, don’t be embarrassed about mentioning to Dr. Marra.
Myth 10: Pregnant women shouldn’t go to a dentist.
The truth: Routine dental exams and cleanings are safe for pregnant women. However, you should let Dr. Marra and his team know if you are pregnant because dental x-rays and surgeries should be avoided during pregnancy.