Dental Myths How Real Are They?


Myths are a part and parcel of everyone’s lives. However, one has to be wary of some of the myths that are floating around on issues related to health that includes dental health because it could result in dangerous consequences if followed without understanding the principles behind it.

Dental Myths

Chocolate Eating causes caries or cavities or tooth decay This is true only if you do not rinse your mouth properly after eating the chocolate. The chocolate particles stick to your tooth and the decay causing bacteria reacts with these food particles to produce acids which are mainly responsible for tooth enamel erosion and decay.

Decay in Baby Teeth is not a Problem Parents are of the opinion that there is no need for brushing baby teeth and maintain proper oral hygiene because they will be falling after sometime. They believe dental care of babies can start only after the babies get permanent teeth. In fact, the permanent teeth are growing under the primary teeth and tooth decay in primary teeth will result in damage to permanent teeth. Premature loss of baby teeth might result in improper positioning of the permanent teeth thereby necessitating orthodontic treatment in future.

Dental treatment should be avoided during pregnancy Not true. Dental treatments are provided in the late stages of pregnancy at times. However, before performing a major surgical procedure it is necessary to take medical opinion. In the first three months of pregnancy it is essential to avoid dental xrays. A mother loses one tooth for every child born Not true. The theory behind this myth is that the baby in the womb takes away calcium from the mother’s teeth. In fact calcium is absorbed by the baby from the bone of the mother and not from her teeth. This loss of calcium has to be replenished and has nothing to do with tooth loss.

Worms are responsible for Tooth Decay Not true. Tooth decay occurs when the tooth enamel is destroyed. Food items such as pop, milk, raisins, candy and cake contain sugars, carbohydrates and starches and if these items stay on the teeth for longer periods it will cause tooth decay. Bacteria inside your mouth react with such foods and produce acids. These acids cause erosion of the enamel on your tooth which in turn results in tooth decay over a period of time.

Brushing with salt whitens your teeth Not true. Salt is abrasive and could harm your tooth enamel as well as your gums. The dentin is the tooth’s inner layer and is yellow in color. Removal of tooth enamel will make your teeth look yellow. Freshly Squeezed lemon juice will whiten your teeth No amount of lemon juice will make your teeth any whiter. But it will definitely erode the enamel.

Eating foods when it is very hot is bad for teeth Not true. Drinking or eating cold or hot foods are unlikely to cause damage to your teeth. If you do it on a regular basis it is quite likely that it causes nerve damage. You will definitely damage your nerves if you eat 2 to 3 ice candies everyday. More you brush, better your teeth Not true. Brushing long periods of time is not good for your teeth. The tooth enamel will wear out because of the extended brushing duration and in the long run this will cause tooth sensitivity. Limit your brushing time to 3 minutes and brush twice a day.

For curing tooth ache take medications Not true. Medication is meant for relieving the tooth pain and not for curing it; your dentist will check the root cause of the problem and find a permanent cure. Tooth Ache can be stopped by placing an aspirin beside the tooth Not true. Aspirin can be taken orally to alleviate the pain. Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid and this causes chemical burn on the gum tissues. Place a powdered clove or apply natural analgesics such as a few drops of clove oil or tea tree oil that will help in reducing tooth ache. Too much of clove oil also might burn your gums.

Wisdom Tooth extraction is painful this was true in the olden days when primitive equipments and techniques were used. At present dentists use local anesthetics to alleviate the pain of the patient. Tooth with complications such as impacted tooth or tooth having dilacerated roots might still be painful to extract. Toothpicks usage will widen gap between teeth Not true. You can use commercial toothpicks without any harm for removing food particles; take care not to harm your gums. Do not use metal pins as toothpick. Better way to remove food particles between your teeth is to floss daily.

Wisdom tooth need to be extracted Not true. You might have to get it extracted only when it pokes your inner cheek or displaces other teeth or come in the way of bone growth. Your teeth are healthy only when it is white Not true. Teeth might be attractive to look at when it is pure white; however they are not expected to be pure white. Make sure that you brush and floss regularly to make your teeth white. Avoid foods that could stain your teeth coffee, tea and red wine.

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