Expectations VS Reality: 4 Dental Myths DEBUNKED!

Let’s have a little chat about myths revolving around dental health. Sometimes dental health isn’t treated with a high level of importance. Oftentimes we push it by the wayside. And then we completely forget to reschedule appointments. Hey, we’ve all been there…

Look, staying on top of your dental hygiene and health is necessary for both your mouth and the rest of your body. Believe it or not, your oral health impacts many different areas of your total well being. For example, did you know your oral health can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, blood cell disorders, and bacterial pneumonia? It can also cause complications in pregnant women. We’re not looking to alarm you, those are just the facts. So, of course, things like maintaining a healthy diet and showing up to regularly scheduled dental check-ups are ideal for keeping both your chompers and your body well.

We’ve found that as people gradually lose good brushing and flossing habits, they start to buy into these “quick-fix” myths. So, without further ado! Dental Myths Debunked:

Myth #1 If your mouth doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to go to the dentist.

If your car isn’t rattling do you skip the oil change? There is always the potential for underlying dental issues even when pain and sensitivity aren’t present. Calculus and tartar have no problem building and building with zero pain association. And before you know it – HELLO! gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease! Stick to your 6-month check-ups, which is the standard for routine dental care.

Pro Tip: if you DO have oral pain or a dental problem, call us. On the call, we’ll chat about the discomfort. Then we take into account your dental history and immediate needs. We are all about personalized care for your unique needs.

Myth #2 The harder you brush and floss, the cleaner your teeth and gums will be.

Brushing and flossing rough is NOT good, nor is it recommended… ever. Flossing roughly can create small lesions and cuts in your gums. This can cause discomfort as well as bleeding gums. Healthy gums should not bleed. The same with brushing. You can cause some serious damage including receding gums, by consistently brushing vigorously. Remember that receding gums can get you into some dangerous waters. In severe cases, it does cause tooth loss. This then leads to a whole new gamut of problems.

Pro Tip: Do floss daily, gently sliding the floss in a “C” shape up the sides of your teeth and down to your gums. Brushing your teeth twice a day is the recommended standard. Again, be intentional and gentle. Firm circular motions for 2-minutes gets the job done.

Myth #3 Chewing gum can replace brushing your teeth.

Chewing gum is a good trick for minty fresh breath. Not an acceptable replacement to brushing your teeth. End of story.

Pro Tip: chew sugar-free gum after meals to help loosen food particles until you’re able to brush.

Myth #4 Diet drinks are better for your teeth.

While the sugar content may be lower in diet drinks, they are still very acidic. Acid softens the enamel on teeth leading to demineralization and tooth sensitivity.

Consider that water has a pH level (acidity level) of 7. This is a neutral pH level and does not cause harm. Battery acid’s pH level is 0. This is the worst of the worst. Now consider that diet sodas can have a 2-3 pH level! That is a lot closer to 0 than it is to 7.

Pro Tip: It takes your body about 20 minutes to neutralize your mouth from the acid intake. Your safest bet is always water. Milk is also acceptable.

Consistent and proper dental health care is a must within your daily routine. Avoid cutting corners, and remember… you only have to care for the teeth you’d like to keep! So be diligent. Stick to a daily oral health routine. Strive to eat, healthy. And, be mindful to take immediate action if you’re having dental pain or sensitivity. Call us at 415-682-2368

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

Common Dental Myths Debunked

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Facts About Dental Myths

With the magnitude of information available to us these days, it’s harder than ever to separate facts from myths; especially when it comes to your health. There are a million dental related myths that might steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to a healthy smile. It’s important to be informed and know the facts. Here are a few common dental myths, followed by the facts.

Oral Hygiene Only Affects Your Teeth

Many people hear the phrase “oral hygiene” and they think of the simple act of brushing or flossing. While oral hygiene is important for keeping your teeth healthy, poor oral hygiene can be linked to several other health problems- including heart disease. Taking care of your mouth actually means taking care of a lot of things within your body. Untreated periodontal disease contributes to more low birth weight babies than both drinking and smoking combined.  Having poor oral hygiene can cause a multitude of problems- not all of them related to your teeth.

You Shouldn’t Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out Until They Start to Hurt

Typically, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and your dentist will generally advise you of the same. If you wait for your wisdom teeth to become painful, they might have already done other damage to your gums or teeth. Many people believe that as long as they have no pain, there’s no reason to have an unnecessary surgery. In rare cases, wisdom teeth can stay intact as long as they are not interfering or causing damage. One of the most common reasons to remove wisdom teeth is because they are so difficult to keep clean and rather than incurring costly repairs to those teeth many dentists will suggest having them removed.  Frequent exams are necessary in this case to monitor and maintain your health. It’s generally better to have your wisdom teeth removed before any pain, rather than take the gamble.

White Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

Teeth are actually not meant to be pure white. Tooth color can vary widely, for example, depending on your race, pigmentation varies greatly.  Also, as you get older, your teeth will naturally take on a more faded color as things do with time, however they can still be perfectly healthy. A color beyond a light yellow could be cause for concern, but generally the pinkness of your gums is a better indication of oral health as opposed to how white your teeth are.

If Teeth Look Healthy, and Are Not Hurting, There is No Reason to Visit a Dentist

The most common mistake people make regarding their dental health is skipping regular preventive visits because they do not see or feel any problems. Even in the absence of a visible problem or discomfort, regular visits for x-ray exams, cleaning and necessary restorative care are necessary to maintain your teeth and gums for life. Discovering diseases in the mouth earlier rather than later will typically reduce cost, recovery time and severity of dental treatment that may need to be performed.

It’s important to educate yourself on the facts surrounding whole body health and well-being. Muddled information and common misperceptions can leave people confused. The best way to combat myths and augment dental health is to see and speak with your dentist regularly. Have open dialogue and productive conversations about what is and is not true. Being informed, savvy and educated will keep you and your dentist smiling.

San Francisco Dentist: Dental Health of San Francisco
Office: (415) 682-2368
Fax: (415) 682-2363
E-mail: dentalhealthofsf@comcast.net