Even in the year 2018, there’s a shocking number of stereotypes and misconceptions about dental professionals and oral health still floating around.
And not all of them are jokes at our expense (we’re used to those anyway!)
No, what gets us is the fact that a shocking number of people are completely ignorant to important oral health considerations. Many of us carry around information that’s outdated… or more often than not it’s just plain wrong!
These dental myths mean that oftentimes, people simply avoid going to the dentist because they’re fooled into thinking they simply don’t need to. Needless to say, this can have disastrous effects on their oral health in the process.
Well no more, we say! Today, Dental Care Group is setting the record straight and busting some of the most popular dental myths out there. Strap in, it’s going to be an explosive ride – you might even learn that some of the things you believe are not quite right!
Myth #1: All cavities are visible
If dental problems were items on a restaurant menu, cavities would be one of the most popular items without a doubt.
One of the reasons cavities are such a big hit with our patients (so to speak) is because for some reason, people hang onto the idea that cavities are pretty easy to spot. If they can’t see any obvious cavities, then clearly, their teeth are fine, right?
Wrong: just because you can’t see the cavity, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
While some large cavities can cause pain and discomfort, there are some that are not visible. We call these, quite obviously, “hidden cavities”. These cavities spring up in the fissures and pits of a tooth, between teeth, and in some cases, underneath your gums.
And unless you have eyes in your mouth, these cavities can remain undetected for months or even years.
Hidden cavities and other “invisible” problems are why dental professionals are so insistent on regular dental check-ups. A visit to our dentist Dr Zelman Lew can help find and treat hidden cavities… before they become a major problem.
Myth #2: Sugar is the only cavity culprit
Your parents always told you that eating too much sugar would ruin your teeth.
They weren’t wrong – sugar is one of the biggest culprits that causes cavities.
What mum and dad mightn’t have known is that sugar doesn’t act alone – it has accomplices!
The mouth has many different types of bacteria. Some bacteria is important for good dental and general health, and some bacteria, when in excess, can lead to cavities or gum problems. Several bad bacteria can also lead to general health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
Some foods surprisingly lead to cavities.
For example, high starch foods such as some saltines or biscuits that do not even contain sugar can get caught in the nooks and crannies of the mouth, and these “bad” bacteria will convert these starches to sugars and these are very bad for your teeth.
A great regimen of tooth cleaning (one that includes brushing with an electric toothbrush and daily interdental cleaning with floss or another type of interdental cleaner) can be very effective at preventing cavities and promoting gum health.
Just to be clear, we are aiming to remove and control the “bad” bacteria, but not eradicate the “good” bacteria.
Myth #3: If I brush my teeth regularly, I don’t need to worry about flossing or interproximal cleaning
While brushing your step is an essential part of your dental hygiene, it only cleans the visible surface of your teeth.
Have you thought about the nooks and crannies between your pearly whites?
If you don’t floss (or use another type of interproximal cleaner like pixters) you’re missing all the dental plaque and bacteria that gets stuck between your teeth. Leave it for too long, and it can build up, causing a whole host of issues. Flossing can help prevent common dental problems such as gum disease like gingivitis and hidden cavities.
So, if don’t already make a habit of flossing after you brush, now would be a very good time to start!
Myth #4: There’s no need to take care of your baby’s teeth
While baby teeth might only be temporary, their health is still very important. Even the youngest teeth can still be struck by dental health problems.
We strongly recommend seeing a dental professional within a few months of your child’s first teeth erupting. Children have much more delicate teeth and gums – and because of that, they need their own unique dental hygiene routine. If you’re unsure, your dentist can tell you what is appropriate and what isn’t.
Baby teeth play a key role in the development and growth of adult teeth.
The best way to consider baby teeth is to realise they are a set of natural braces that not only keep the spaces and shapes for adult teeth that are developing and erupting, but are integral to jaw formation and growth, which in turn are important for speech, nose breathing, sinus development and more.
If you want your child to get the best start in life, the health of their baby teeth can’t be glossed over.
Myth #5: If you’re pregnant, don’t go to the dentist
Unfortunately, there’s a strongly-held belief that going to the dentist while pregnant is somehow unsafe. In fact, over half of all expecting mothers believe it!
Dental care doesn’t stop when you become pregnant – in fact, dental hygiene can become more important! Due to the changes in the body like the increase in hormones and the prevalence of morning sickness, oral problems can easily manifest.
Like we have said before, maintaining oral health is key to overall health (the “mouth-body connection”) and this is especially important for pregnant women – and their babies.
There’s no reason to put off a visit to your local dentist
There’s a lot of dental “information” out there that’s outdated, inaccurate or in many cases, simply wrong.
At Dental Care Group, we’re big believers in education – it’s a major part of everything we do at our Armadale dental clinic.
If you’ve just learnt that some of your long-held dental knowledge was off, it might be time to book an appointment with a local dentist to go over your oral health.
Talk to a dentist in Armadale today: whether it’s a regular check-up, a cosmetic procedure or a dental emergency, the team at Dental Care Group will diagnose any dental problems and prescribe the right fix!