Research shows a connection between your oral health and your overall health, so it’s essential to stay informed when it comes to caring for your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dental myths circulating that may be hurting your dental health.
Here’s a look at some of the most common dental myths and the truths you need to know.
Myth No. 1 — You Can Skip the Flossing
The idea that flossing isn’t important is a common myth. Unfortunately, many people skip this extra step after brushing their teeth. The problem? Your toothbrush can’t reach the entire surface of the tooth. You’re missing nearly one-third of the tooth’s surface if you don’t floss. Bacteria building up between teeth can result in tooth decay, tooth pain and gum disease. Flossing is an easy, cheap way to improve your oral health.
Myth No. 2 — Dental Visits Are Painful
You’ll be glad to hear that this is just a myth. Dentists today practice comfort-conscious care, ensuring that you’re kept comfortable during dental procedures. In the past few decades, significant advances in dentistry make it easy to keep visits mostly pain-free. Scared of the dentist? Sedation dentistry is an option that can ease your mind.
Myth No. 3 — My Teeth or Gums Will Hurt When There’s a Problem
Many dental issues don’t cause pain until they become very serious. Then, you’re left with invasive, expensive treatment options. The key to keeping your mouth healthy is to catch any dental problems early — before they cause pain. This means keeping up with those biannual dental visits.
Myth No. 4 — Diet Drinks and Fruit Juices Are OK for Teeth
If you’re skipping sugary sodas, that’s great. However, fruit juices and diet drinks — while they may seem like a healthier option — are bad for teeth, too. Fruit juices have natural sugars and acids that can break down tooth enamel, cause gum disease, and cause tooth decay. Diet drinks may not have sugar, but they have acids that can erode your tooth enamel.
Myth No. 5 — Oral Cancer Isn’t That Dangerous
Oral Cancer will kill roughly 1 person per hour. Thousands of people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Early detection is key to increasing the survival rate for oral cancer. As with all cancers, oral cancer is on the rise, but with early detection more people are being treated successfully.
Myth No. 6 — Oral Cancer Only Occurs in Smokers
While smoking has the ability to increase the risk of oral cancer, new research has found a link between oral cancer and HPV. Just because you’re not a smoker doesn’t mean you can’t end up with oral cancer. Dentists have equipment to detect oral cancers early, which is another reason to stick with those regular dental visits.
Myth No. 7 — I Don’t Need My Silver Fillings Replaced
You probably aren’t aware that a large percentage of those silver fillings are mercury, and mercury can leach out of the filling over time. Mercury has been linked to chronic diseases, neurological issues and autoimmune diseases. Thus, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about replacing any silver fillings you may have.
Now that you know the truth behind some of the most common dental myths, it’s important to take preventive action to keep your oral health in great shape. If you live in Indiana, contact us today to schedule a dental appointment at our Chesterton or Schererville office.