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You can’t believe everything you read on the internet, especially when it comes to the importance of your oral health. Just because it’s there in black and white on a website, doesn’t mean that it’s completely factual and true.
Are you able to spot a dental myth from a real, actual fact?
Myth: Children Should Have Their First Dental Exam At Age 3
The first few years of your child’s life are full of milestones and many parents still believe that your child’s first dental appointment doesn’t need to happen until their mouth is full of baby teeth and there is something to really see.
Truth: Your child’s first dental visit should take place after that first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday. Why so early? As soon as your baby has teeth, they are susceptible to cavities. Being proactive about your child’s dental health early on can help keep their smile healthy for life.
Bonus Tip: Look for a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry to make the beginning years of oral hygiene easier for the whole family.
Myth: Fluoride is Dangerous
Exposing your body to fluoride is a controversial topic lately, and some sources claim that fluoridation should not be added to our drinking water at the risks of it being the cause of certain cancers and other health risks.
Truth: Of course, most things are dangerous if used improperly. But if you follow your dentist’s instructions for fluoride use, you have no negative effects to worry about – and your teeth will reap the benefits of this enamel strengthener. It’s especially important for children to either drink fluoridated water or use fluoridated toothpaste, as exposure is crucial during tooth development. Just monitor their use to be sure they’re getting enough and not too much.
Myth: You Should Brush Vigorously
The harder and more often you brush the surfaces of your teeth, will leave your teeth cleaner and healthier. Hard bristle toothbrushes will help scrape off plaque better than soft bristled brushes. Sound like too much of a good thing?
Truth: Brushing regularly is considered vital for healthy teeth and gums, but dental experts warn that you can overdo brushing if you are brushing too hard with too much pressure, and if you are using a toothbrush with hard bristles. Vigorous brushing can wear down the enamel on the teeth as well as damage and push back the gum tissue which lead to other serious dental problems such as periodontal disease, exposed roots, cavities and tooth loss.
Bonus Tip: When looking for a new toothbrush, find one that has the softest bristles possible and when brushing near your gums, brush down towards your teeth with a gentle, feather-like touch. Your gum tissue should never be brushed with pressure.
Myth: Flossing Isn’t Necessary
This one is a little trickier. The current position of the ADA is that flossing hasn’t been proven to be either incredibly beneficial or without its benefits.
Truth: Because flossing is simple, inexpensive, and easy to do, and since it may help reduce your risk of gingivitis, it is still recommended! Flossing daily can keep your teeth in better health, and save you hundreds of dollars in potential dental expenses.
Bonus Tip: Keep floss in handy, easy-to-reach places so it’s readily available when you need it. Get into a rhythm of flossing your teeth while watching your favorite show before bed.
Myth: Cavities are the Main Cause of Tooth Loss
Cavities cause your teeth to become weakened and damaged, and if left untreated, they can eventually cause the tooth decay to become so severe that the tooth crumbles and needs to be removed by your dentist.
Truth: While it’s true that untreated cavities will lead to tooth loss, it’s surprisingly not the main cause of someone losing a tooth. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. By preventing it, you’re far more likely to preserve a full smile. Excellent oral hygiene will help aid in preventing gum disease and staying vigilant in what your teeth are telling you is vital in helping prevent serious dental problems.
Bonus Tip: Know the symptoms of gingivitis. If you notice your gums becoming red, inflamed, bloody, tender or beginning to recede, schedule an appointment with Dr. Baudean right away to make sure you don’t’ have a case of gingivitis on your hands. If caught early, gingivitis is treatable with a few easy steps.
If any of these myths or truths have you thinking maybe it’s time for you to visit the dentist, call us today to schedule an exam with Dr. Baudean!