Isn't it that faced with the choice of enduring a bad toothache or going to the dentist, we generally try to ride out the bad toothache.
After all how many times have you heard anyone say “Oh doc, it felt so good when you were drilling my teeth?” The matter of fact is – visiting the dentist can be a traumatizing experience that can make a lasting bad impression on you.
It is this very anxiety and stress associated with dentists and dental problems that have escalated many dental myths. It’s time to bust the most common dental myths that hinder our oral health and open our eyes to reality.
Myth#1 – Whiter teeth means healthier teeth
For all those who think your teeth should be “pearly white” here is an eye opener – the strongest teeth are natural, healthy ones and they are not pristine white. In fact they are a couple of shades darker, ranging from light grey to light yellow. This is because the enamel itself is bluish-white and can be a bit translucent towards the tips. It is because of this that yellow of dentine shows through, which makes your teeth appear light yellow – “Not White”.
Myth#2 – Teeth whitening / bleaching erodes teeth enamel
People are obsessed with getting pearly whites so bleaching or teeth-whitening is the fastest and safest way to get white teeth. It oxidizes your teeth using carbamide peroxide so that light refracts more favourably off the enamel. The root of this myth lies in the fact that prior to 1990 the materials used to bleach included acidic contents which after prolonged use eroded the enamel. But with advancement in technology and with new discoveries this is no more the issue. Bleaching materials now are basic PH materials.
Myth#3 – More sugar you eat, more damaged your teeth
Sure, sugar is bad for you, but it is not the only reason for tooth decay. The real cause of tooth decay is a combination of sugar, bacteria and acids. If you are consuming more sugar but also maintaining a good oral health routine like rinsing your mouth after those sugary treats and brushing & flossing your teeth daily which keeps the plaque and tartar at bay, the chances of tooth decay are minimal. Studies have proven that even if you don’t consume sugar but have a bad oral hygiene habits, you are still equally prone to tooth decay and cavities.
Myth#4 – Electric brushes cleans teeth more effectively
False: An Electric toothbrush does as much a good job as any manual toothbrush will, provided you know how to brush properly. The idea of brushing teeth is to remove plaque and to stimulate the gums. Most toothbrushes will keep your teeth clean if you are using the proper techniques of brushing your teeth. The popularity of electric toothbrushes is due to its convenience and admittedly they are more fun to brush your teeth with.
Myth#5 – Don’t brush and floss while suffering from bleeding gums
One thing you have to remember that brushing doesn’t only clean your teeth but also removes plaque from the gums, increases blood circulation and stimulates them. Not brushing and flossing will only aggravate the problem and increase inflammation caused by plaque deposits and bacteria. If you are suffering from sore and bleeding gums, it is advisable to brush gently with a soft bristles toothbrush and instead of string floss use advanced water flossers like Oracura's Water Flossers for gentle and effective cleaning.
Myth#6 – The more you brush, the cleaner and healthier your teeth
The whole point of brushing is to remove plaque and stimulate your gums. And for doing that brushing ‘properly’ two times a day is sufficient. In fact more the number of times you brush or the harder you brush, chances are that you are going to erode the enamel which would eventually lead to tooth loss or a broken tooth.