Most people who have some fear of going to the dentist will have heard of a horror story or dental myth. We have heard a few recurring dental myths over the years and the list below will hopefully make things clear.
1 – IF YOUR GUMS BLEED, DO NOT BRUSH OR FLOSS TOO CLOSE TO YOUR GUMS
Plaque build up is the main reason why gums bleed. Regular flossing and brushing around the gums is essential to remove the plaque from these areas. It is only by doing this that you can expect to have healthy gums that don’t bleed. Therefore, the opposite is in fact true!
2 – REMOVING YOUR WISDOM TEETH WILL PREVENT CROWDING OF YOUR TEETH
In most cases, wisdom teeth do not cause any crowding therefore, removing them does not influence anything with regards to tooth positioning in the mouth. There are other reasons why wisdom teeth may be removed but simply having them removed in the hope that your teeth will be straighter – that is not going to work.
3 – CHILDREN DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE DENTIST UNTIL THEY HAVE THEIR ADULT TEETH
I recommend that children should visit the dentist from the age of 6 months to ensure good dental health habits can be promoted from early on. Also, many dental problems can occur in baby teeth, just like in adult teeth. If problems with baby teeth are not treated, this can cause permanent damage to the adult teeth. Therefore, all children should start visiting the dentist early.
4 – TEETH WHITENING IS HARMFUL, IT CAN DAMAGE YOUR TEETH
Teeth whitening by a professional dentist will not cause any damage to your teeth. It is a safe way to brighten the shade of your enamel. It is normal to experience temporary sensitivity and soreness around the gums. Download our fact sheet to find out how simple and safe teeth whitening actually is.
5 – YOUR TEETH CAN BECOME LOOSE AND DECAYED DURING PREGNANCY
This is only true if you stop brushing your teeth for the full 9 months of pregnancy and also stop going to the dentist. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may cause the gums to bleed more however, with good dental hygiene there is no reason why any of your dental tissues should become decayed or permanently affected.
This is more of an ‘old wives tale’ than a dental myth!
6 – WEIGHT LOSS CAN AFFECT THE FIT OF YOUR DENTURES
It is not possible to lose weight from the bone and gums which supports your denture.
Dental myths can prevent people from pursuing dental care when they really need it. Regular dental visits are essential to ensure the long term health of your teeth and gums are maintained.
- Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)