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Common Dental Myths Debunked

When it comes to uncovering the truth about a bright, healthy smile and good dental health, fact and fiction are often miles apart.  So, let’s look at ten dental myths and give you the hard facts about how to keep your teeth and gums in the best of health.  

Myth 1: Sugar causes cavities.

While eating too much sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay, it’s not the sole cause.  Bacteria that naturally forms in your mouth feeds on sugar. Combined with digestible carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar, acids that erode your tooth’s enamel are produced. This erosion leads to cavities.

Myth 2:  The harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner you’ll get them.

Brushing too vigorously, applying too much pressure, or using a hard bristled toothbrush can be very abrasive, wearing down your tooth enamel and causing your gums to recede.  By using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently in circular motions for two minutes twice a day, you can avoid damaging your tooth’s enamel and keep your gums healthy.

Myth 3:  Chewing gum is as good as brushing.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true.  But chewing gum does have some benefits. While it’s no replacement for brushing your teeth, chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva production, which neutralizes acids in your mouth.  It may also pull bits and pieces of food from your teeth, but it is not a substitute for brushing and flossing.

Myth 4: Flossing is not really necessary.

Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth that brushing alone cannot reach. Plaque buildup can lead to gingivitis and cavities.  Flossing at least once a day is an essential part of a good oral hygiene routine.  

Myth 5:  If you avoid eating sweets and candies, you will not get cavities.

Sweets and candies are not the only things that cause cavities.  Starchy carbohydrates, like potato chips, white bread, white rice, pasta, and cereals can also cause cavities.  Starchy carbs turn into glucose or sugar, so it’s not just sweets that are the cavity culprits.

Myth 6:  Gum disease only affects your mouth.

Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's.  Because your mouth is the entryway to the rest of your body, gum disease can lead to serious health problems in other parts and organs of your body.  

Myth 7:  Diet soft drinks are better for your teeth.

While the diet versions of sugar-laden soft drinks might seem like a healthy choice to protect your teeth, these diet beverages can be highly acidic.  This means that they can wear away the protective layer on the surface of your tooth’s enamel.  Drinking diet soda through a straw can help to minimize damage to your teeth.

Myth 8:  Bleeding gums are normal.

Bleeding gums can be the first sign of gingival gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

Caused by the buildup of plaque bacteria around, on, and in between your teeth, this can lead to redness, swelling, irritation, and bleeding.  Fortunately, gingivitis is a common, but preventable condition, that can be eliminated with an anti-gingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash, by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and by seeing your dentist on a regular basis.

Myth 9:  Teeth whitening destroys the enamel on your teeth.

Professional teeth whitening under the supervision of your dentist is a safe and effective way to brighten your smile.  It will not damage or destroy your tooth’s enamel.  It’s important to know, however, that some non-professional whitening solutions, have been known to cause damage to teeth and gums, so it’s always best to choose the professional option if you are interested in whitening your teeth.

Myth 10:  You don’t need to go for a dental check-up unless you’re having a problem.

If you’ve been avoiding a trip to the dentist for cleaning and regular check-ups because everything seems fine with your teeth, you might be surprised to learn that even when there’s nothing wrong, dental check-ups are designed to assess your oral health and to catch any potential issues before they lead to pain, discomfort, or other complications.

Vision, experience, and a commitment to superior dental care are just a few of the attributes we possess at Kingston Dental.  Our highly professional dentists, dental assistants, and hygienic staff provide comprehensive dental care to serve the dental needs of all our community.  And we never lose sight of our #1 goal:  Patients always come first.

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