Myth or Fact? Don’t Fall for These Common Dental Myths

Don't fall for these dental myths.

Myth or fact? Do you know what is best for your dental health?

There are many dental myths out there that people believe about their dental health. However, believing some of those dental myths could have negative repercussions on your dental health. Make sure you are informed about your dental health and reach out to the dental team at Sheppard Family Dental Care any time you have a question about your teeth and mouth.

MYTH: Dental X-rays are dangerous.

While traditional X-rays were a concern for some people because of the exposure to a small amount of radiation, thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to worry about that. Many dental offices now use digital X-rays and intraoral cameras to easily scan and take images of your mouth and teeth. The new way of X-raying is painless and harmless to patients, and also provides dentists with better quality images.

MYTH: Flossing isn’t necessary if you brush your teeth.

This myth has red flags all over it. Flossing your teeth at least once a day is just as important as brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing is so important because flossing gets plaque that has built up in between the teeth, as well as anything stuck under the gums.

Flossing alone just won’t cut it,–it must be done right. But do you know if you are flossing correctly?

If you are using traditional dental floss, you have a choice of waxed or unwaxed floss. First, break off a piece of dental floss about 18-inches long and wrap the majority of floss around your middle fingers. Holding the floss taught between your index fingers and thumbs, gently slide the floss between your teeth, rubbing gently up and down on the surface of your teeth to wipe away any food debris and plaque. Make sure you floss down to the gums, making a “C” shape with the dental floss to get under the gumline. Gently slide the floss out from between the teeth, and repeat the process on all of your teeth.

MYTH: Baby teeth don’t need to be taken care of as well as adult teeth.

While children lose their primary, or baby, teeth as they make way for the adult, or permanent teeth, it is still important to ensure baby teeth are taken care of. This includes brushing the baby teeth at least twice daily, and flossing at least once a day. It is important for parents to begin an oral health routine with their children as soon as their first tooth breaks through. Dentists may even recommend dental sealants be applied to the molars of children to help prevent cavities. Biannual dental evaluations are also important for children so that your dentist can evaluate the growth and bone structure of your child’s mouth and teeth.

MYTH: The harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be.

This sentiment is false. Brushing your teeth aggressively can wear  away the enamel, or proactive coating, of your teeth, leading you to be more vulnerable to cavities. Brushing aggressively also irritates your gums and causes them to become inflamed or even to bleed when you brush your teeth.

You should brush your teeth in small circles, ensuring you brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the tops and backs of your teeth. Dentists recommend you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that includes fluoride, which can help keep the enamel strong. If you are unsure of what types of dental products to use, look for the American Dental Association, or ADA, seal, which is on all dental products that are approved by the association for use. Or you can always ask the Sheppard Family Dental Care team for recommendations on dental products.

MYTH: You only need to visit the dentist if you are experiencing pain.

Any dentist will tell you that preventative care is key to keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. The team at Sheppard Family Dental Care recommends everyone visit the dentist at least twice a year, or every six months, for a dental evaluation, where your dentist can get a close look at your teeth. Your dentist may also recommend dental X-rays or dental scans to get a better look at your teeth. Preventative dental care is important so that cavities and other dental problems can be caught in their early stages.

Get the dental facts from your dentist.

Many people have perceptions about dental care, but you should always speak to your dentist if you have questions or you hear something that doesn’t quite sound right. We are always happy to set the facts straight. One sign that isn’t a myth is that if you are experiencing any dental pain, you should schedule an appointment with Sheppard Family Dental Care as soon as you can so your pain can be checked out.