We know in dentistry that a lot of the dental diseases are preventable. With regular dental check ups we can usually detect and treat problems before they become a more serious and costly issue to treat. The problem is that most people live busy lives. Work and other commitments always get in the way and therefore, many patients will only make the time to come to the dentist once the problem has elevated to a serious issue.
A PERSONAL STORY
My passion for dentistry all began with the 6 monthly check ups I had as a child at our family dentist. Dr Christopher Lee was a brilliant dentist who looked after our family’s dental health. My mother has been a member of Denplan for as long as I can remember and attended the dentist every 3-6 months for her hygiene appointments and she always made sure I went regularly as well.
Following my qualification as a dentist, I did what all dental graduates do, I examined my mother’s mouth. I found that my mum was incredibly vulnerable to gum disease as she had what we call a “thin-biotype”. She had however kept most of her teeth due to the regular and thorough hygiene sessions she had continued to have over the last few decades. If it wasn’t for her Denplan membership, I would expect that my mother may have had less frequent hygiene sessions with periods of breaks and this may have resulted in poorer gum health and greater tooth loss. This is what I see in many patients.
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 – 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.
4 – 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 not reason why any of your dental tissues should become decayed or permanently affected.
This is more of an ‘old wives tales’ than a dental myth!
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)