8 Dental Myths Demystified
Myth 1 – White teeth are healthier than yellow teeth
Everyone wants a white and bright smile. It is aesthetically pleasing to have whiter teeth however whiter teeth are not necessarily healthier than yellow teeth. If teeth do not have decay and gums are healthy then despite the colour, your teeth are still healthy. Teeth colour is similar to skin colour, it is hereditary and doesn’t have anything to do with the health of your teeth.
In saying that, this only applies for natural tooth colour. If your teeth are yellow or stained due to calculus and plaque build-up, it is not considered healthy and you should consider visiting the dentist before this build-up causes any decay or gum problems.
Myth 2 – Bleaching teeth is dangerous
Yellow and healthy teeth do not need to be whitened if you are happy with the colour. If you desire to have whiter teeth to enhance your smile, there is nothing to worry about as whitening or bleaching can be easily done. Contradicting general belief, whitening is a safe procedure. Teeth bleaching is not only a less costly alternative to veneers; it is a conservative and non-invasive technique which is safe and effective. Bleaching gel produces free oxygen radical to lighten teeth without changing the tooth structure.
Myth 3 – Flossing is not important
It is absolutely not correct that flossing is not important. All teeth have five surfaces and two of those surfaces are in contact with adjacent teeth. Toothbrushes cannot clean in-between the two teeth. Floss can slide between these two teeth and clean these surfaces. Insufficient cleaning of these surfaces will lead to tooth decay and gum problems. It is important to floss at least once a day to maintain optimum oral health.
Myth 4 – Veneers require aggressive preparation
Veneers are a common procedure nowadays to improve your smile and confidence. Many times people want veneers to improve smile but are under impression that it will be quite damaging to your teeth. With material and procedural improvements, veneers only need minimal prep of 0.3 to 0.5 mm and sometimes no prep. In some instances where major corrections are needed, teeth can be aligned better before doing veneers to conserve tooth structure. Don’t deprive yourself of a confident smile!
Myth 5 – The harder and more often you brush, the healthier your teeth will be!
Toothbrushes are the easiest way to remove plaque, when you brush your teeth twice a day you keep your plaque levels to a minimum while reducing the about of abrasive forces applied to your teeth. When you brush more often you are not necessarily removing more plaque while increasing the risk of abrasion to your teeth. These abrasions can wear down your enamel and reduces the protection your tooth has against decay and sensitivity. Brushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush for two minutes and flossing once a day is the perfect way to maintain your oral health.
Myth 6 – Dental treatment should be avoided during pregnancy
There is an exaggerated response to plaque in pregnancy due to hormonal changes, which causes excessive bleeding and inflammation from gums in pregnancy. Plaque can cause decay, if left untreated decay can get worse and cause serious problems. It is better to maintain regular hygiene appointments to avoid any surgical treatment in third trimester. If regular appointments are not maintained this increases the risk to the baby and the parent.
Myth 7 – Dental x-rays are unnecessary
X-rays are very important for many different reasons; we recommend x-rays every two years to check your mouth is healthy and free of issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and bone loss. They play a vital role in check-ups, allowing us to catch potential problems earlier, before they become painful and expensive. They also can be used to diagnose tumours and cysts in the mouth or jaw. X-rays are also a good way for you to see for yourself the visible, existing physical conditions.
Myth 8 – Scaling is not good for teeth
Scaling is very important for teeth and gum health, if not done regularly it can cause chronic periodontal disease. Plaque build-up has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions. You may be more susceptible to gum disease if you have other systemic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease or rheumatoid Arthritis. Plaque builds up on your teeth and gums, although you may be brushing and flossing it is very hard to clean in all the little nooks and crannies. Although this regular clean is needed every day, twice a day; it is good to have a big ‘spring clean’ every six months where we scale and polish your teeth while looking for any new decay.