We’ve all heard an old wives’ tale or two about caring for our oral health. While some myths may not be harmful, misconceptions about our oral health can leave us vulnerable to a host of dental conditions. Here are five of the most prevalent oral health myths debunked.
Myth #1: You Don’t Need to Visit the Dentist Unless You’re in Pain
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That said, visiting your dentist for your routine dental exams and cleanings every six months will help keep your teeth healthy and functional and prevent dental issues from developing or progressing. Identifying a condition early on when it is easiest to treat will spare you costly and involved treatments down the road, and may, in some cases, make the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
Myth #2: Only Sugar Causes Tooth Decay
Everyone knows that sugar increases the risk of tooth decay and cavities. If left sitting in your mouth, sugary treats provide an abundant food source for plaque-creating bacteria, which then produce acids that erode the tooth enamel. Even if you don’t consume a lot of sugar, starchy foods also contain carbohydrates, which can cause plaque to form. Diet sodas may seem harmless, but they contain acids that erode the tooth enamel, as do acidic foods. Whatever you eat or drink, the key to keeping tooth decay at bay is to make sure you brush and floss regularly and to visit your dentist for routine dental exams and professional cleanings.
Myth #3: Baby Teeth Aren’t Important
Even though baby teeth will eventually fall, they are important. Keeping those tiny pearly whites healthy will reflect on the health of the adult teeth developing behind the scenes and maintain the space needed for them to come in correctly. Losing baby teeth prematurely can cause the neighboring teeth to shift out of alignment, resulting in crooked teeth or a crowded mouth that may require orthodontic treatment down the road. The best way you can keep primary teeth healthy is to encourage proper oral hygiene habits and maintain routine dental exams and cleanings twice a year.
Myth #4: Oral Health Does Not Affect the Rest of the Body
Keeping your smile clean and healthy has a direct effect on your overall health. Having severe tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease can result in harmful bacteria entering the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your health. Studies show a link between gum disease and a host of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory conditions. So keeping your smile in tip-top shape has a direct effect on the health of the rest of your body.
Myth #5: Braces Are Just for Kids
While it’s common to see children and teens flashing their metallic smiles, more and more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment. Advances in orthodontic technology now allow for straighter teeth and perfect smiles using clear braces, such as Invisalign. The virtually invisible aligners are removable, allowing you to brush and floss as you normally would, and enjoy your favorite foods without restriction. Best of all, you’ll achieve your straight smile without anyone having to know!
Quality Dental Care Near Me
Dr. Rick and his team at Dr. Rick Dentistry encourage you to make your mouth health a priority. Brushing, flossing, and visiting our Scottsdale, AZ, office twice a year for your routine dental exams and cleanings will translate into long-term healthy smiles. We are here to answer your questions and support your oral health every step of the way! Call us and schedule your appointment today!