Common Dental Myths and Facts

Common Dental Myths and Facts

As a premiere Southwest Portland dentist, Dr. Melissa Beadnell and her staff wants to take the time to expose some of the common dental myths that could be holding you back from your best oral health. Read on to learn more about these four common dental myths and the true facts.

Myth: I don’t need to take my child to the dentist because their baby teeth are just going to fall out.

Fact: Proper oral hygiene should start at a very early age. Forgetting to care for baby teeth can result in issues with a child’s bite, alignment, and even adult teeth if baby teeth decay and are removed early. It is also important to start training kids early not to be afraid of the dentist and encouraging regular exams. This will allow kids to be comfortable when going to the dentist, and set a lifetime of good habits. Encouraging and demonstrating proper brushing twice a day with children starting as early as 12 months old is crucial to preventing any bottle decay or other tooth-related issues.

Myth: I don’t need to brush twice a day and floss every day.

Fact: Proper home care is one of the best defenses against tooth decay and gum disease. That is why your dentist reminds you to brush twice a day and to floss every day. When you skip a brushing or flossing, bacteria from particles of food can get stuck in the teeth. If you don’t remove these particles, they can become plaque and harden into tartar. Brushing also helps keep the teeth smooth so bacteria won’t collect on the surface of them.

Brushing alone is not enough though, as it only gets a few of the sides of each tooth. Imagine only washing two sides of your car! Flossing gets in between and around the edges of teeth, cleaning out those stubborn particles of food and sugar before bacteria can start to grow. If you find yourself having trouble flossing every day as recommended try to build up to it by setting a goal of three times a week at first.

Myth: Sugar is the principal cause of cavities.

Fact: You’ve probably heard it a million times: sugar rots teeth. While sugar is a main culprit in tooth decay, it’s not actually the real offender: bacteria is the real villain. Bacteria in your mouth from sugars, food particles, and carbohydrates produces acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. When these acids combine with saliva, plaque begins to form. A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and without proper brushing and flossing can result in a higher rate of cavities. Proper oral care at home and visiting a dentist like Southwest Portland dentist Dr. Melissa Beadnell, is key to preventing cavities.

Myth: Only the elderly get gum (or periodontal) disease

Fact: People in their 30s and 40s can have gum disease, also called periodontal disease, and even those as young as teenagers can get gingivitis, which is a milder version of periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease is a leading cause of loss of teeth, and can result in more serious illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes, if left unchecked. Also, men are more prone to have periodontitis than women of the same age. Regularly visiting your dentist, like Hillsdale dentist Dr. Melissa Beadnell, for checkups, is a crucial step in keeping gums and teeth happy and any periodontal disease at bay.

If you have any other myths you would like us to answer, please contact us and let us know!

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