Popular “myth-busting” television and web series go to great lengths to reveal the truth behind old urban legends and scientific conundrums. But what about longstanding myths about dental health? Knowing the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to caring for your teeth and gums is important to maintaining a healthy smile. Let’s uncover the truth together! In today’s blog, a dentist in Orange Park debunks 5 common dental health myths.
Myth #1: Drinking Diet Soda is Safe for Teeth
Just because diet sodas are not laden with cavity-causing sugars, does not mean they are beneficial for your oral health. The truth is that diet sodas are still highly acidic and can eat away at tooth enamel. When this protective outer tooth layer is damaged, it can lead to tooth sensitivity. While you do not have to abstain completely from diet sodas, try not to drink them frequently. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives like water, milk or vegetable juice.
Myth #2: It Doesn’t Matter What Time a Day You Brush
Not true! Brushing at night before you go to bed is especially important because our bodies produce less saliva while we sleep. Saliva helps wash away harmful bits of food and bacteria from teeth. If you do not typically brush before bed, food particles are more likely to sit on your teeth overnight and eventually contribute to tooth decay. Brushing your teeth in the morning after breakfast, meanwhile, also helps fight decay and beat back bad breath.
Myth #3: Teeth Whitening Harms Tooth Enamel
Old whitening methods used decades ago utilized acidic materials that could sometimes wear down tooth enamel. Thankfully, modern dentistry has advanced considerably over the years. Today, professional whitening methods use carbamide peroxide – a form of hydrogen peroxide – to safely and effectively brighten teeth. While you may feel some slight tooth sensitivity after treatment, any discomfort is temporary and will quickly subside.
Myth #4: It is Normal for Gums to Bleed When Brushing
If your gums bleed when you clean your teeth, it is not just a sign that you need to ease up on how much pressure you use when brushing. Instead, bleeding gums are likely a sign that you have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Caused by plaque and tartar build-up on the gums, gingivitis also frequently causes tender gums, tissue inflammation and bad breath. If left untreated, gum disease can progress and eventually cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
Myth #5: White Teeth are Always Healthy
Although your teeth may appear white and in good shape in the mirror, it does not mean that they are automatically healthy. Unfortunately, tooth decay and infections can grow and develop inside a tooth, where they remain hidden to the naked eye. For this reason, it is critical to visit a dentist every six months for a routine dental checkup.
There you have it: 5 common dental health myths – busted! For more preventive oral care tips to help take care of your smile, talk to a dentist in Orange Park today.
About the Author
A proud graduate of the prestigious Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Natasha Patel is well-trained in discerning fact from fiction regarding dental health. The second-generation dentist welcomes patients of all ages – from grandparents to grandkids – at her conveniently-located Orange Park practice. For more information, visit the Kind Care Dentistry website or call 904-278-9011.