Although the majority of people today seek regular dental care, myths and legends about dentistry abound. Some myths run rampant across the internet, while others are passed down through families and friend groups. Here is the truth behind some of the most common dental myths. 

A closeup photograph of a woman putting a piece of gum into her mouth.

Myth: If My Teeth Look Healthy, I Can Skip the Dentist

Fact: Most dental issues are difficult or impossible to see visibly in their earliest stages. Even if your teeth look great, it is important to visit the dentist twice per year. A professional cleaning will remove plaque and tartar that are left behind by brushing, while a thorough exam will catch any problems before they become serious.

Myth: Dental Health Is Genetic, and Therefore Outside My Control

Fact: Genetics does play a small role in dental health, and some people are more prone to cavities and gum disease than others. However, you are responsible for taking charge of your own oral health and proactively caring for your teeth and gums.

Myth: Brushing My Teeth Often Will Damage the Enamel

Fact: It is the hardness of your toothbrush, not the frequency of your brushing, that will damage your teeth. Choose a soft-bristled brush and use it at least twice a day.

Myth: Chewing Gum Can Replace Brushing My Teeth

Fact: If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production and freshen your breath. However, gum cannot remove food debris and plaque from your teeth.

Myth: Brushing Bleeding Gums Will Cause More Damage

Fact: Gums tend to bleed when food particles or dental plaque get stuck in them. Brush more, not less, to remove plaque and debris and stop your gums from bleeding. If regular brushing does not help, see your dentist as soon as possible.

Myth: An Aspirin Tablet Will Stop My Toothache

Fact: Swallowing an over the counter pain reliever can help to reduce your suffering until you can see the dentist, but will not correct the problem. Never put aspirin directly on the soft tissues of your mouth, though, as it can cause painful chemical burns.

Myth: Teeth Whitening Is Dangerous

Fact: While older methods could be hard on the tooth enamel, modern teeth whitening products are far safer. Ask your dentist for recommendations, and always follow the instructions carefully.

Myth: Baby Teeth Don’t Matter

Fact: Setting the stage for a lifetime of good oral hygiene is essential. In addition, the baby teeth play a vital role in holding space open for the permanent teeth, which could come in crooked or crowded if the baby teeth are decayed. Finally, your child relies on those teeth for speaking and eating, so it is important to keep them healthy.

Myth: Dental Work Is Unsafe During Pregnancy

Fact: Emergency dental work should be performed when needed, at any time throughout the pregnancy. Regular cleanings and exams are also vital, as pregnant women may be more prone to gum disease. It is best to do as much of your dental work as possible during the second trimester, and to delay elective procedures until after you give birth, but you should never avoid the dentist due to pregnancy.

 

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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