Unfortunately, dental health is an oft-neglected aspect of healthcare. In addition to the fact that too many Americans lack access to dental healthcare, an alarming number neglects to visit the dentist as often as is recommended. According to the ADA, “In 2014, 52.3% of adults reported that they had visited the dentist every six months during the last few years, 15.4% reported once per year, and 11.0% reported once every two to three years.”
Given this mindset surrounding oral healthcare, it’s no wonder there are many common oral health myths out there! We at Great Neck Family Dentistry believe in the vital importance of oral health on a person’s overall wellbeing, so we want to share 5 common oral health myths and explain why they are untrue.
While it’s true that sugar causes tooth decay, it’s not true that sugar is the only offender. Sugar, especially processed sugar, feeds the bacteria in your mouth the forms plaque. But cavities and tooth decay can still occur in someone on a sugar-free diet if they fail to maintain their dental hygiene by brushing and flossing. Starchy foods that contain carbohydrates can also contribute to cavity-causing plaque.
You’ve probably heard that at-home and professional teeth-whitening can damage your teeth by weakening your enamel. However, modern-day teeth whitening procedures are considered safe. Just be sure to have it done professionally at a dental clinic, or use a dentist-approved at-home method.
This is a big one! It’s very common to think that the more you scrub, the more plaque and bacteria you’ll remove from your teeth and the stronger you’ll make your gums. But in reality, the opposite is true. Brushing your teeth too hard can actually damage your enamel and gums, potentially leading to yellowed, sensitive teeth and receding gums. The key is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently and slowly brush your teeth.
We may love the appearance of shiny white teeth, and it is true that yellowed teeth are often unhealthy, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Discolored teeth can be whitened relatively easily, which can conceal oral health issues. If your teeth are looking less white than you’d like, ask your dentist what may be to blame and what can be done.
This one (hopefully) should be obviously false! For adults with no chronic dental health problems, it’s recommended they visit the dentist once or twice a year for a cleaning and check-up. Have you ever heard the saying, “prevention is better than a cure?” If you visit the dentist regularly, you can prevent painful, costly, and potentially dangerous dental health problems.
Proactive dental care is the best defense against cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other threats to your dental and overall health. To schedule an examination or learn more, contact us today!
Never been happier with a dentist before! The professionalism, individual care, sparkling clean office, and the range of services are amazing. Highly recommended!