Debunking 8 Common Oral Health Myths

Oral health is paramount for overall well-being, but with the amount of information available today, it’s easy to be misguided by myths and misconceptions. 

At Smith and Van Lierop Dentistry, we believe that an informed patient is a healthier patient. So, let’s debunk some of the most common oral health myths to ensure you have the correct knowledge for a gleaming smile. 

1. Whiter Teeth Mean Healthier Teeth

Truth: A sparkling white smile might be aesthetically pleasing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean those teeth aren’t healthy. Teeth can be naturally off-white or slightly yellow, especially as people age. It’s more important to focus on gum health, tooth structure, and absence of cavities than just the shade of enamel. 

2. Sugar is the Main Cause of Cavities

Truth: While sugar plays a role, it’s not the sugar itself that causes cavities. Bacteria in your mouth flourish on the sugars you eat, leading to acid production. It’s these acids that erode the enamel and cause cavities. This means that foods high in carbohydrates, which break down into sugar, can be just as harmful if oral hygiene is ignored. 

See: 10 Surprising Foods That Can Damage Your Teeth

3. Brushing Harder Means Cleaner Teeth

Truth: Brushing with too much force or using a stiff-bristled brush can erode the tooth’s protective enamel and harm the gums. Using a gentle touch with a soft-bristled brush is the best approach to clear away plaque and particles.

Read: 5 Tips For Teaching Kids To Brush Their Teeth

4. Chewing Gum Replaces Brushing

Truth: While chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralise and rinse away some acid from the teeth, it’s not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Always stick to your regular oral hygiene routine.

5. You Shouldn’t Brush Bleeding Gums

Truth: Maintaining good oral hygiene is even more crucial if your gums are bleeding. Gums that bleed may indicate the onset of gum disease. Gentle brushing and flossing can help reverse this. However, if bleeding persists, visiting a dentist to get it checked out is vital. 

6. You Should Avoid the Dentist While Pregnant

Truth: Dental care during pregnancy is not just safe but recommended. Hormonal changes while pregnant can heighten the risk of gum disease. Regular dental check-ups can help manage this risk. Always inform your dentist about your pregnancy to ensure any treatments or procedures are tailored accordingly. 

7. Charcoal Toothpaste is the Best for Whitening 

Truth: The abrasive nature of charcoal in toothpaste can remove surface stains, giving the illusion of whiter teeth. However, this abrasiveness can also erode tooth enamel and damage gums. Regular use can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and cavities. If you’re considering a whitening product, it’s essential to consult with professionals at Smith and Van Lierop Dentistry. 

Still not keen on that yellow shade? We offer teeth whitening!

8. Dental X-rays Are Unnecessary and Harmful 

Truth: With advancements in technology, the radiation exposure from dental X-rays is minimal. These X-rays are crucial in detecting issues that might not be visible during a regular check-up, such as cavities between teeth or problems below the gum line. 

In the world of oral health, myths can sometimes overshadow reality. It’s essential to base our dental care routines and beliefs on factual, science-backed information. At Smith and Van Lierop Dentistry, we’re always here to guide you on the right path to optimal oral health. 

If you have questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s work together to keep those myths at bay and your smile radiant!