Taking care of your teeth and gums is important to keep them healthy and to protect your overall health, but many people have a misunderstanding of some important points about oral health. Here are some of the most common myths that people believe about their teeth and gums.
Myth 1: Sugar alone causes cavities. Processed sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth to produce acid that attacks teeth and causes cavities. It is important to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after eating sugary foods. However, sugar is not the only thing that can cause cavities. If you do not eat any sugar but have poor oral hygiene habits, you can still get cavities.
Myth 2: Brushing sensitive gums can cause harm. The fact is that brushing your teeth is beneficial to them and to your gums. It removes food particles and plaque that can cause inflammation and gingivitis. If plaque is not removed, your gums can become sensitive and bleed when you brush. If you have sensitive gums, you should brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily.
Myth 3: You can skip flossing. Flossing removes food and plaque from between your teeth, places that a toothbrush cannot reach. If you skip flossing, you are not cleaning almost a third of the surface of your teeth. This can lead to cavities, gum disease, and pain. Flossing can help prevent these problems.
Myth 4: Teeth whitening is dangerous. Bleaching is safe if it is done correctly with the right products. Before 1990, acidic bleaches were used to whiten teeth. They could break down enamel and weaken teeth. Whitening materials used today have a neutral pH so they will not damage teeth. They use carbamide peroxide to oxidize teeth so light will refract more and the teeth will look whiter. Using too much of a whitening gel can cause sensitivity. The discomfort should go away after use of the product is discontinued.
Myth 5: If you have white teeth, they must be healthy, and darker teeth must be unhealthy. The truth is that white teeth can still have cavities or an infection. Healthy teeth should be whiter than unhealthy teeth, but there is a lot of variation in color from one person to another. Teeth can become discolored with age. In some cases, healthy teeth can be darker than unhealthy teeth.
Myth 6: If you have a toothache, you should put an aspirin next to your tooth. Aspirin can relieve gum pain if it is placed next to the gums, but that does not work for a toothache because the aspirin will not be able to get through the enamel to the nerve. Aspirin needs to be swallowed to get into the bloodstream to relieve a toothache. You should not use too much aspirin or oral gel to relieve gum pain because they can cause burning.
It is important to take care of your teeth with daily brushing and flossing and to get regular exams and cleanings. If you would like to schedule a cleaning or need to have another problem treated, contact Fried Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.