Even though the basics of dental care are pretty straightforward, people can still follow certain myths that actually harm their dental health. To make sure you're giving your teeth the best possible care, don't buy into these common dental myths.
1. Flossing is not as important as brushing.
When you're in a hurry, you may skip over the floss because you're heading out the door, thinking you're fine as long as your brushed your teeth. However, flossing is just as important as brushing because it cleans the parts of your teeth that can't be reached by your toothbrush. You should floss daily -- ideally before you brush.
2. Fluoride treatments are bad for you.
The truth is, while fluoride is toxic in large quantities, there is no better substance for keeping cavities at bay. The amount of fluoride in a small amount of toothpaste will not harm you if you spit carefully after brushing. Fluoride helps to:
- Recalcify your teeth after they've been exposed to acidic foods and bacterial demineralization.
- Fortify you teeth against decay by increasing their ability to withstand higher levels of acid.
- Decrease the activity cancer-causing of bacteria in your mouth.
Use fluoridated toothpaste and don't pass up the more intense fluoride treatment at your six-month cleaning. Your teeth will thank you.
3. Brushing harder and longer will clean your teeth better.
While you should never cut your brushing too short, scrubbing your teeth for more than a few minutes will only aggravate soft tissues in your mouth. Similarly, brushing with a lot of pressure does not improve your oral health, but instead only puts you at risk for gum recession. Recessed gums increase your chances of experiencing decay, sensitivity, and smile changes.
Instead, use a soft-bristled brush and gentle pressure when brushing, especially near the gum line.
4. You only need a dentist when your teeth hurt.
Tooth pain definitely warrants a visit to the dentist, but the reality is that cavities do not hurt -- you only experience pain from tooth decay when the decay itself has advanced to the point of damaging the nerves in the root of your tooth. When decay reaches this point, a simple. inexpensive filling is not enough to fix the problem. You'll need a root canal, dental crowns, and other restorative work.
Don't wait until you feel pain to see your dentist like those represented at http://westlakesfamilydental.com/. Stay on top of cavities and other problems by sticking to your six-month cleaning schedule.