If you think you know how to look after your smile, you could be in for a shock. Most of us do our best to keep our pearly whites in top shape, but with myths and old wives’ tales floating around, many people have fallen victim to false information.
Below, you’ll find some of the most commonly believed dental myths that could be stopping you from taking proper care of your teeth or receiving that treatment you’ve been longing for.
1. Teeth Whitening Is Dangerous
Some people experience tooth sensitivity during and after having their teeth whitened, and this has sparked the myth that whitening treatments are dangerous.
But tooth sensitivity is a short-term and entirely normal side effect, and it doesn’t affect everyone. The sensitivity quickly wears off and there’s no risk of damage to the teeth or your health.
Teeth whitening isn’t dangerous and doesn’t have any long-term side effects, so you can make your pearly whites even pearlier without worry. However, it’s worth having your teeth whitened by a professional if you’re nervous and want to get the best results. A professional will always use safe whitening techniques, and you’ll get results that just wouldn’t have been possible with a DIY method.
2. White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth
White teeth definitely look healthier than discoloured teeth, but those with the whitest of teeth have usually had their teeth whitened. Whitening is a cosmetic treatment — it doesn’t solve dental health issues.
While many people have teeth that are both white and healthy, the two aren’t usually linked. Different people have different-coloured teeth, and the colour of your teeth will change with age and the foods you eat, even if your dental health is in top shape. And if you’re lucky enough to have pearly whites that are naturally bright, this doesn’t mean you can skip dentist appointments!
3. Teeth Straightening Treatments Are Only for Kids
Lots of people have braces when they’re young, so some people think that once they reach adulthood, it’s too late to have their teeth straightened. The truth? It’s never too late!
You don’t often see adults with traditional metal braces because adults are more conscious of their appearance. But that’s not to say they’re not undergoing a straightening treatment. Gone are the days when metal braces were the only option for a beautifully straight smile.
Many adults now opt for Invisalign — a clear aligner that gradually moves your teeth into the right position. Invisalign aligners are transparent and fit snugly over your teeth, so most people won’t even notice you’ve got them in.
4. You Only Need to Visit the Dentist When You Have Tooth Pain
The first thing you do when you have a persistent toothache is to book an emergency dentist appointment. But that shouldn’t’ be the only time you visit the dentist.
Even if your teeth feel fine and are pearly white, and you have no symptoms of trouble, you should go for a checkup at least once a year. Your dentist will be able to check on the health of your teeth and gums. Rather than only visiting the dentist when issues arise, your dentist can help you prevent problems, so you won’t have to worry about agonising toothaches and emergency trips.
5. Harder Brushing Equals Cleaner Teeth
Being enthusiastic about brushing your teeth is great, but if you’re brushing too hard, you’re not doing your teeth any favours. This can actually damage your teeth and gums.
Vigorous brushing can wear down your enamel and cause your gums to recede, and your teeth won’t be any cleaner than if you’d brushed them normally. Effective brushing is all about your technique.
6. You Should Stop Flossing if Your Gums Bleed
When you first start flossing, your gums might bleed. Over time, bacteria and plaque can build up in your mouth and get stuck between your teeth. This can cause your gums to become inflamed.
To reduce the inflammation, you need to get rid of the plaque and bacteria between your teeth. Flossing regularly prevents inflammation, and once you start doing it regularly, your gums will stop bleeding.
7. Sugar Is the One and Only Cause of Cavities
Cutting down on your sugar intake is a great way to prevent tooth decay, but sugar isn’t the only culprit. Lots of people make the mistake of focusing solely on watching their sugar intake, only to have tooth problems caused by starches, acidic foods or poor lifestyle choices like smoking. If you have a dry mouth, this can also lead to tooth decay. Saliva helps to keep your teeth healthy by washing bacteria away from the tooth surface — if you have a dry mouth, bacteria is more likely to settle on your teeth and cause decay.
This post has been sponsored by Tooth Doctor
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