No matter what your age, it's important to take good care of your teeth and gums to avoid dental problems down the road. However, there are many misconceptions out there about what it takes to achieve good oral health. Believing in these myths can do serious damage to your teeth and gums.
Here are some common dental myths.
1. You Don't Need a Dental Checkup if Nothing Hurts
Many dental problems don't show any symptoms until they become more advanced issues. For example, once a cavity starts hurting, you will likely require a root canal or tooth extraction.
That is why it is important to see your dentist for a checkup every six months. He or she can detect oral health issues in the early stages and determine the proper treatment.
2. You Have to Brush Your Teeth Hard to Get Them Clean
This is one of the most common dental myths out there. Brushing your teeth too aggressively can actually wear down the enamel of your teeth, increasing your risk of decay. To prevent this from happening, brush your teeth in gentle, circular motions.
3. You Should Stop Flossing if Your Gums Bleed
If you do not floss frequently enough, bacteria will build up on your gums and cause them to become inflamed. The next time you floss your teeth, you may notice bleeding.
However, this does not mean you should stop flossing. If you continue to floss your teeth every day, the bleeding should stop.
4. Gum Disease Only Causes Issues in Your Mouth
If you do not treat gum disease in the early stages, it can actually begin to affect other parts of your body. For example, the bacteria from your gums could travel to your bloodstream and narrow your arteries, increasing your risk of a heart attack. If your gums are redder or more inflamed than usual, see your dentist soon.
5. Sugar Is the Main Cause of Cavities
While eating candy and other sweet treats frequently can increase your risk of cavities, they are not the only foods you have to worry about. It turns out that starchy foods, like crackers and chips, can also be bad for your teeth. They tend to stick on the surfaces of your teeth, increasing your risk of decay.
If you have concerns about your oral health, don't hesitate to talk to your family dentist. The sooner you address dental issues, the easier they are to treat.