There’s little doubt that modern dentistry practices and cosmetic dentistry methods have come a very long way. Those advancements have helped thousands of folks have cleaner mouths and have led them to practice good oral hygiene at home.
Despite the advances in dentistry, dental health still continues to have its fair share of myths that can lead to poor hygiene habits and ultimately lead people to not visit the dentist for a long time. Some people are very good about visiting the dentist regularly, while others are not for one reason or another. This is in spite of the fact that more than 80% of US adults say oral health is their top health-related priority.
The simple fact is that visiting a dentist is the best way to promote healthy teeth and gums. Dentists, hygienists, and orthodontists want to help you in any way they can, whether they’re dealing with routine cleans or different kinds of cosmetic dentistry. So with that in mind, here are some common dentistry myths debunked:
Oral Health Doesn’t Affect Overall Health
When you think of oral health, there’s a chance that you may only think of your teeth. Teeth are obviously an important part of a person’s oral health, but oral health includes other areas of the mouth and it can actually affect other areas of your body. For example, poor oral health has been linked to health conditions such as heart conditions and diabetes.
Going to the Dentist Can Be Painful
Some folks are as excited about going to the dentist as they are about getting their car repaired. This is usually because people believe that going to the dentist will hurt and cause them to feel pain. The truth of the matter is that advances in technology have helped dental procedures become easier, quicker, and less painful. If you visit a dentist for something like a simple cleaning, the dentist and the hygienists there will do everything they can to make you as comfortable as possible. The same can be said even if you have a complicated cosmetic dentistry procedure.
Teeth Can Be Cleaned Simply by Brushing
Brushing your teeth on a regular basis can go a long way in helping promote healthy teeth but brushing can also only do so much. It’s hard to get the bristles of a toothbrush in between the gaps of your teeth and if you’re only brushing, you’re not cleaning your whole mouth. That’s why it’s recommended that you floss at least once a day and use mouthwash as part of your oral hygiene routine too.
Dental Cleaning Can Damage Teeth
Dental cleanings play an important part in keeping mouths, gums, and teeth healthy. But some people avoid getting their teeth professionally cleaned because they think it will be painful and harm their teeth.
The belief that dental cleanings and cosmetic dentistry procedures are harmful usually stems from three things: the methods used, the products used, and the side effects. The reality is that the methods of cleaning and products used to clean teeth have all been proven to be safe and the side effects from a professional cleaning are usually only temporary.
Dental Cleaning Weakens Enamel and Uses Harsh Chemicals
Any professional dental cleaning starts with a hygienist using various metal instruments to scrape tartar and plaque buildup from the surface of teeth. This is a process known as dental scaling. If a person has a thicker layer of plaque on the teeth, the hygienist may have to scrape more vigorously to clean the teeth properly. This causes people to think that scaling actually scrapes away enamel. The truth is that enamel is very, very strong and cannot be chipped or scratched during a cleaning. By visiting the dentist more regularly for cleanings, a hygienist doesn’t have to scrape so hard to clean plaque and tartar buildup.
A professional cleaning typically involves two products to clean teeth: tooth polish and fluoride. Both products are safe and will not damage your teeth. Tooth polish may feel kind of gritty on your teeth, but it acts like sandpaper and it helps scrub away plaque that wasn’t removed during scaling. It’s also very good at whitening teeth by removing surface stains. Fluoride is a common mineral that’s been added to countless public water systems across the United States because of its ability to actually help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. So you can rest assured that when a dentist is using products like fluoride, you’re in good hands.
No Pain, No Problem
Many folks think that if they don’t have any tooth pain, it means there’s nothing wrong with their teeth. But this, in fact, is another good reason to go to the dentist to get regular cleanings. Regular dental appointments give dentists the chance to examine your teeth and notice problems before they become obvious. It could be that you have a cavity that doesn’t necessarily hurt right now, but by the time the tooth hurts enough, you could have extensive damage in your mouth that may require cosmetic dentistry to fix.
Sugar Is The Main Cause of Cavities
This is another myth that can be busted because sugar by itself does not lead to cavities. The truth is that cavities are formed by a combination of bacteria that occurs naturally in the mouth and acid that damages teeth. The acid is usually triggered by carbohydrates, making it a good idea to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. This will ensure that your mouth is nice and clean after you’re done eating for the day.
The Dentist Will Hurt You
There’s no doubt that some cosmetic dentistry procedures can be extensive and require some time to fix whatever problem you’re having with your teeth or gums. For example, if you’re having a crown put in or you’re having a dentist fix a broken tooth, you might assume that each of these procedures is going to hurt.
As previously mentioned, your local dentist and their staff are there to help you and make you feel comfortable. If you’ve got a cosmetic dentistry procedure coming up and you’re feeling uncomfortable, the best thing you can do is talk to all parties concerned with the process and express your concerns. They can walk you step-by-step through what they’re going to do, what tools they’re going to use, and what you can expect before, during, and after they’re done. If you’re feeling anxious, dentists typically use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, during different procedures to make it easier to access your teeth. You can also come up with a signal to your dentist you can use during the procedure if you’re feeling too uncomfortable.
As you can now see, many of the common dentistry myths that you might have grown up believing have now been debunked. The absolute truth is that a visit to the dentist for any kind of procedure, big or small, can go long way toward improving your oral health and helping you establish good habits to use at home all the time. The office of a dental specialist can be a place where you feel comfortable and safe knowing that you’re in experienced hands.