We all grow up as children believing certain things — Santa Claus, eating carrots will turn your eyes orange, gum will stay in your stomach for seven years, the list goes on. And even though you’re an adult now and swim after a meal just to spite your mother, there are still some things that we continue to believe, especially when it comes to dental care (maybe because we want to avoid the alternative). Do we really have to brush and floss our teeth twice a day? Is gum disease really something to worry about?
At Germantown Dental Group, we want you to be as educated as possible about the health and care of your teeth. As dentists, we believe that everyone should have the same information and follow the same practices so that everyone has the healthiest teeth possible. But there are some myths that are getting in the way of that happening. So here are a handful of myths that we want to get straightened out.
Bleaching is Harmful to Teeth
Everyone likes to flash their pearly whites, right? But sometimes the foods and drinks we consume can cause our teeth to lose their whiteness and become an unattractive beige, off-white color. So when we’re not satisfied with the color of our teeth, we turn to bleaching, or teeth whitening kits. But is there a little voice in the back of your head telling you that you’re damaging the strength of your teeth? There is actually no evidence to support that bleaching harms your teeth. This myth may have stemmed from the fact that your teeth can become sensitive after using a whitening treatment. So, it is important to pay attention to your teeth and if the sensitive feeling lasts for a whole day or more, visit a dentist right away. And always be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
Only Old People Get Periodontal Disease
Signs of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, don’t typically show until you’re in your 30s or 40s (hopefully you don’t think that’s old). Gum disease begins as plaque builds up along the gum line, so if plaque is left on your teeth, it can progress to gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontal disease. And this is why it’s so important to visit a dentist for a regular cleaning.
Brushing Twice a Day and Flossing Aren’t as Necessary as Your Dentist Says it is
We may want this one to be true, even though deep down we know that brushing and flossing is critical to the health of our teeth. After you eat, bacteria begins to form from the small particles of food that are left behind. If you don’t brush them away in the morning or at night, food particles can become plaque, and then tartar. Flossing can ensure that the surface between teeth is also being cleaned, rather than just cleaning two out of four sides of your teeth.
Bleeding Gums Aren’t Serious
When it comes to finding blood in the sink when you’re brushing your teeth, it could be a sign of an underlying problem, not because you’re brushing too hard. Bleeding gums could actually a sign of gingivitis developing. The good news is that it can be easily treated with brushing and flossing! If you continue to notice some bleeding, schedule an appointment with a dentist.
Gum Disease Isn’t Very Common
Unfortunately, gum disease is more common than many people think. According to a study by the CDC, 47 percent of adults over the age of 30 have a form of gum disease. While part of this is a natural part of aging (we become more susceptible to infections), it can be prevented with regular trips to the dentist.
Sugar is the Main Cause of Tooth Decay
This may be half true, but it’s not a reason for you to go grab a Snickers bar. Sugar is actually just the beginning of the process of tooth decay. Bacteria is formed and feeds off of the sugar to break it down, which will lead to tooth decay. Once again — brushing and flossing can prevent this.
If it’s time to schedule a regular appointment with a dentist, visit Germantown Dental Group in Germantown, located in the Clopper’s Mill Shopping Center. We are passionate about providing the best care so you can enjoy healthy and happy teeth.