Roughly half of all adults in the US visit the dentist every six months. Only one in six do it yearly.
That means a sizeable portion of the country doesn’t visit the dentist as much as they should. Sometimes it’s due to not knowing when to go. Other times it’s because of popular myths about dental health.
There are many myths about oral hygiene that could lead you to believe that a dentist visit isn’t necessary. What may not seem to be an emergency could turn into one if left to fester.
Keep your smile bright and healthy by learning the truth about dental health. Are you guilty of believing one of these five common myths?
1. Baby Teeth Aren’t Important
They’re just going to fall out anyway, right?
Well, that may be true. However, you shouldn’t neglect a baby’s dental health. Cavities aren’t just blemishes–they hurt and they can lead to breaks or cracks.
If it gets really bad, you could be at risk of a serious dental infection. This can cause complete loss of the tooth or even sepsis in extreme cases.
If your kids still have their baby teeth, make sure they’re brushing regularly. Limiting their sugar consumption will help too.
2. Root Canals Are Excruciating
Many dental problems aren’t taken care of until the pain is unbearable. This is a big source for myths about oral hygiene surrounding pain.
Root canal services are actually fairly painless in practice. What makes a root canal painful has everything to do with the degree of infection–not the procedure itself. If the patient’s gums are inflamed and infected, the pain will feel amplified after the procedure.
When an extraction is done as a preventative treatment, no pain will be experienced while under anesthetic. After the anesthetic wears off, there will only be some numbness.
3. Always Rinse Your Mouth After Brushing
This is another truth about dental health that often gets lost in translation.
After brushing, it’s only natural to want to clear out excess toothpaste. The problem arises when you swish a mouthful of water that removes all the helpful residue that protects teeth.
Instead, you should be spitting while you brush. If you really insist, only use a little bit of water to remove excess paste.
4. Don’t Brush Gums If They Bleed
Bleeding gums are usually a sign that they need to be brushed more, not less. They need to be strengthened through brushing on and around the rim.
Plaque build-up can create a cycle of bleeding gums. Stay on your regular schedule of brushing and your gums will stop bleeding from brushing and flossing.
Of course, if you continue to experience bleeding gums, you should schedule a visit to your dentist.
5. Lemon Juice Helps Kill Bacteria
The trend of finding natural alternatives to common hygiene products isn’t inherently bad. The problem is that most people giving such advice aren’t qualified to do so.
In the case of this dental myth, pure lemon juice is extremely bad for your teeth. It’s so acidic that it can eat away your enamel in just a few sessions. This causes pain, sensitivity, and other possible damage.
A squeeze of lemon in your water or tea is fine, but don’t swish with straight lemon juice–ever!
Debunking Myths About Oral Hygiene
Now that you have an idea of how many myths about oral hygiene are out there, you should be careful.
There’s a lot of information floating around online, but the safest place to go for questions or concerns is a reputable dentist.
Nicholson Family dental is here to help you and your family avoid costly and avoidable procedures. Book an appointment today and get the truth about your dental health.