August 8, 2016
There is a vast amount of information available on the Internet. That makes my job a little easier — and a little harder. On one hand, information gives my patients the power to improve their oral health. But on the other hand, it’s possible for patients to go down the rabbit hole and follow some outright terrible advice.
A lot of people visit their dentist more often than their primary health care provider, but still, dental myths and misconceptions have made their way into the minds of patients everywhere. So, this week I want to focus on 10 dental myths that are killing your smile. You’ll find out where many of these originated and then learn the truth.
See the facts for yourself.
1. Bleeding gums are common and nothing to worry about. MYTH. Bleeding gums are very common. That much is true, but bleeding gums is a cause for concern. Bleeding gums or swollen gums are a serious problem and the first signs of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to life-threatening problems like heart disease and diabetes.
2. Root canals can make you sick. MYTH. This myth originated in the 1920s. A dentist by the name of Dr. Weston Price developed this theory and activated for patients to extract teeth instead of restoring them with root canals. This myth is nearly 100 years old, and yet it still pops up. The truth is that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that suggests root canals make you sick. Root canals are used as a last resort to save the tooth. By cleaning the infection in the root, we save the tooth and stop the infection from reaching your healthy teeth.
3. Teeth whitening is dangerous for your teeth. MYTH. Teeth whitening has been used in dentistry for decades. Teeth whitening is perfectly safe for your teeth, especially if it’s overseen by a professional. There are many over-the-counter whitening options, but to be sure you are using them correctly, consult a dentist. Teeth whitening candidates should be free of dental decay and gum disease. Whitening treatment on damaged teeth or gums can lead to pain or irritation.
4. Orthodontic treatments are just for children. MYTH. This is a myth that was once true. The earlier in life we can fix your teeth, the better. Orthodontic treatment is great for children, but there are also options available to adults. And the best part is that you don’t have to walk around with clunky brackets and wires on your teeth. Our office uses Invisalign to correct teeth. This treatment is ideal for adults because it takes about 12 to 18 months and is discrete. The plastic aligners, which are removable, art also virtually invisible.
5. Baby teeth do not matter. MYTH. Baby teeth matter just like your permanent teeth. While these teeth do fall out, they are still subjected to dental decay. If you do not care for baby teeth, it’s possible to disrupt the healthy development of the child’s permanent teeth. Additionally, dental decay is uncomfortable and possibly painful.
I hope these five dental myths have shown you a new way to look at dentistry. Join us again later this week to hear the second part of this blog. If you’re ready to schedule a visit with us, call the office at 703-552-2530.