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Do You Believe These Dental Myths?

Posted on 7/1/2024 by Office - Boone DMD
An electric toothbrushHave you ever heard that brushing your teeth with baking soda is good for your enamel? Or that chewing gum can actually clean your teeth? We've all encountered our fair share of dental myths throughout our lives, often passed down through generations or picked up from unreliable sources. But separating fact from fiction is crucial when it comes to maintaining good oral health.

As a general dentist, I encounter these myths frequently, and I understand the confusion they can cause. So, let's debunk some of the most common dental myths and replace them with evidence-based information.

Myth #1: Brushing with baking soda is good for your teeth.

While baking soda can be used for occasional cleaning, it's important to remember that it's abrasive and can damage your enamel over time. This can lead to increased sensitivity and even tooth erosion. Instead, stick to fluoride toothpaste, which is specially formulated to strengthen your enamel and protect your teeth from cavities.

Myth #2: Chewing gum can clean your teeth.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids and wash away food particles. However, it's not a substitute for brushing and flossing. While it might freshen your breath and remove some small debris, it won't effectively remove plaque and bacteria buildup.

Myth #3: You only need to see a dentist if you have a problem.

Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining good oral health, even if you don't experience any pain or visible issues. These visits allow your dentist to detect and treat problems early on, preventing them from becoming more serious and costly. Additionally, professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing alone can't reach.

Myth #4: Teeth whitening damages your teeth.

Professional teeth whitening procedures, when performed by a qualified dentist, are safe and effective. The whitening agents used break down stains without harming your enamel. However, it's important to avoid over-the-counter whitening products that may contain harsh chemicals or abrasives that can damage your teeth.

Myth #5: Baby teeth don't matter because they'll fall out anyway.

Baby teeth play a crucial role in your child's oral development. They help your child chew, speak, and maintain space for permanent teeth. Cavities in baby teeth can cause pain, infection, and even affect the development of permanent teeth. Therefore, it's crucial to establish good oral hygiene habits early on and schedule regular dental checkups for your child.

Myth #6: Electric toothbrushes are no better than manual toothbrushes.

While manual toothbrushes can be effective with proper technique, electric toothbrushes can offer additional benefits. They often have features like timers, pressure sensors, and oscillating brush heads that can help you clean your teeth more thoroughly and effectively.

Myth #7: Flossing is only necessary if you have food stuck between your teeth.

Flossing is essential for removing plaque and bacteria buildup between your teeth, where your toothbrush can't reach. Even if you don't have visible food debris, flossing daily helps prevent cavities and gum disease.

Myth #8: Drinking bottled water is better for your teeth than tap water.

Most bottled water contains similar levels of fluoride as tap water, which is crucial for preventing cavities. Additionally, tap water is often treated with additional minerals that can benefit your oral health.

Myth #9: You can't get cavities if you don't eat sugar.

While sugar is a major contributor to cavities, other carbohydrates can also break down into acids that damage your teeth. Bread, pasta, and even fruits can contribute to cavities if not brushed away properly.

Myth #10: You can't reverse gum disease.

While advanced gum disease can lead to irreversible damage, early stages of gum disease can be treated and reversed with proper dental care. Regular checkups, cleanings, and good oral hygiene habits can help prevent and manage gum disease, ensuring your long-term oral health.

By understanding the truth behind these common dental myths, you can make informed decisions about your oral health and take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Consulting with your dentist is always the best way to get personalized advice and ensure you're making the right choices for your individual needs.
Margaret A. Boone, DMD
30485 SW Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 203
Wilsonville, OR 97070

(503) 601-0610
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