Dental Myths and Misconceptions #2
Like any industry, dentistry is full of rumours and misconceptions about what and what isn't the best for your oral health.
In this series, we will be correcting some of the more popular misconceptions about your smile. Hopefully, this will allow you to take care of your smile, and avoid any unwanted problems.
Myth #4 - White Teeth Mean Healthy Teeth
White teeth don’t necessarily mean a healthy mouth. We often associate a Hollywood smile with glamour and health but looking deeper will more often than not be able to tell you if your mouth is healthy.
Dentists normally look for cavities and erosion, gum health and jaw bone levels, all things that a white smile cannot change. Ever seen someone with an almost pure white smile? Often this can be the result of crowns or veneers, rather than natural teeth.
Teeth whitening is great for making you feel more confident, and a white smile is never a bad thing, just remember that its overall teeth health that you should keep an eye on, rather than just the aesthetics.
Myth #5 - Bleeding gums happen to everyone, it’s perfectly normal
If you find blood after brushing or flossing, that is a sign of gum disease regardless of how often it happens.
Normally this is because you have calculus deposits or bacteria has made it's way deeper into the gum pockets around your teeth. This often leads to them becoming sore and inflamed and results in them bleeding when you brush or floss.
Best way to treat this is, unfortunately, clean them more thoroughly. This will help to remove the cause of the inflammation and stop the bleeding.
Alternatively, visit your dentist for regular cleanings to help. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of teeth loss, so should not be taken lightly.
Myth #6 – I brush my teeth properly, so I don’t need to floss
Sadly, this is incorrect.
Brushing alone can only clean the outside of your teeth, around 65%. The other 35% is made up of the spaces between your teeth where, even with the best effort, your toothbrush just cannot reach.
That is why a dentist will always recommend getting access to these interdental spaces with floss or interdental brushes. This helps to remove food residue stuck between teeth as well as any bacteria and plaque that may have settled. In turn, this helps to prevent any cavities from forming.
Flossing should ideally be done daily before you brush. Otherwise, you may be in for a shock the next time we take dental X-rays, as this is the only way you can detect any cavities between teeth.