Dental Myths
March 14, 2023
There are a lot of myths doing rounds about oral hygiene, like, if you brush harder, your teeth will be cleaner. Or: Pregnancy draws more calcium to your teeth. But which of them is true? In this article, we bust some of the myths.

Author:

Ina Alberts

Myth: no pain, no dental problem

 By the time a cavity becomes painful, it has already progressed quite far and might be close to the nerve. Regular check-ups can result in an early diagnosis of a cavity, making it easily restorable. Same counts for gum disease. Most people are not aware that they have gum disease unless told, as it is usually not painful. The longer you wait, the more complex and expensive treatment will become.  

 

Myth: using teeth whitening products will damage your teeth

Whitening products can cause sensitivity in some people. Mostly, if guidelines are followed, they are safe to use, and sensitivity symptoms are temporary. Overuse or incorrect use can cause damage or extreme discomfort.

 

Myth: if your teeth are white, they are healthy

Teeth tend to darken as we age, and different people have different tooth shades. Gum disease can hide behind white teeth. Teeth whitening is not a treatment for gum disease or tooth decay. 

A healthy tooth can still be dark in the shade, and a white tooth can still have a cavity. That is why routine x-ray examinations are recommended to ensure a healthy mouth.

Myth: baby teeth need no brushing because they are destined to fall out 

No brushing will result in tooth decay. This can cause pain, speech problems and misalignment of permanent teeth.   

 

 

Myth: pregnancy draws calcium from your teeth

This myth probably originated because pregnant women are at a higher risk of tooth decay because of pregnancy cravings and vomiting caused by morning sickness. That said, pregnancy is an important time to consume calcium. Hormonal changes can make pregnant women more prone to gum disease. Regular visits to your dental hygienist during pregnancy are recommended and safe.

 

Myth: all dental procedures should be avoided during pregnancy

Certain procedures like dental x-rays and surgeries need to be postponed, but regular dental work can continue as usual. 

Even local anaesthetic is safe.

Myth: brushing harder cleans better

Brushing harder or with a hard brush won’t clean better but will harm your enamel. Plaque is soft and is best removed with a soft brush whose bristles can bend and reach everywhere. Rather brush longer but gentler for a better clean.

 

Myth: dental problems stay in your mouth

Many people ignore dental problems and think they will resolve themselves. Your mouth is linked to your body. That means that blood flow and tissue connect it to other parts of your body. If your mouth is compromised, the rest of your body is too. That is why good oral healthcare is crucial.

 

Let us know if you have any questions ina@prostodonsie.co.za
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