10 Common Dental Myths and Misconceptions

10 Common Dental Myths and Misconceptions Family Dentistry Ashley Dental Center dentist in Adelphi Maryland Dr. Paul W. Ashley DR. Michael Ashley

10 Common Dental Myths and Misconceptions

Like an episode of Mythbusters, we’re going to myth bust the top ten myths about general dentistry. After all, the “world wide web” is a big place, and it’s vital to establish trusted, accredited sources of information- especially inside the dental industry! At Ashley Dental Center, we’ll help you understand the ins and outs of general dentistry here in Adelphi, Maryland. 


Myth 1: Flossing is for Losers. Not at all! On the contrary, flossing is the habit of victors. Flossing is an integral part of oral health. It removes plaque below the gum line, reduces the risk of cavities, helps prevent gingivitis, and removes foul breath. Flossing once a day (ideally before bedtime) is a great way to invest in your dental health. 


Myth 2: Brushing Harder is Better. While pushing harder on an Xbox controller might give you extra power, it doesn’t work on teeth. Brushing teeth is akin to washing your car off with a rag, not scrubbing it with barbed wire. Hard brushing can cause trauma to the tooth enamel and gums. Do more by doing less. Brush gently. 


Myth 3: White Teeth are Healthy Teeth. Looks can be misleading, especially with teeth. While a white smile certainly looks healthy, it’s not always the case. The pearly exterior might hide a world of cavities, root infections, and gum disease. Ideally, we can couple a white smile with a strong foundation, gums, and roots. Don’t let teeth whiteners distract you from brushing, flossing, or attending regular dental checkups. 


Myth 3: Sugar Causes Cavities. Sugar contributes to cavities, but they aren’t the sole perpetrator. In reality, bacteria eat the sugar and produce an acid compound. This acid decays the teeth and wears down enamel. Rinsing and brushing after meals or sugary snacks will reduce their time together and keep your acidic buildup at bay. 


Myth 4: Charcoal Toothpaste is Better. With the rise of holistic alternatives, charcoal toothpaste might seem tempting. Charcoal toothpaste offers little protection and is too abrasive for daily use. Over time it can make your teeth more sensitive and yellow. Stick with proven fluoride toothpaste for best results. 


Myth 5: Baby Teeth Don’t Need to be Brushed. Very false! Kids should start brushing twice daily as soon as their teeth begin to sprout. Early brushing will set them down the road of good habits, proper hygiene, and preventative dental care. Set a good example for your children, and help them establish these valuable lifelong routines. 


Myth 6: Gum Disease is Curable. Actually, true and false! Gum disease can cause tooth loss, bleeding, and bone decay. While the earlier form of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is curable, its later counterpart, periodontitis, isn’t. The distinction is essential, as false hope in a non-existent cure can leave people more carefree about their gums. Keep your gums safe with preventative dental care. 


Myth 7: Dental Checkups Don’t Matter. This myth is widespread for those without tooth pain! After all, why would you visit a dentist if your teeth feel fine? It’s a valid question. In truth, dental checkups are essential to check for oral cancer, cavities, and gum disease- all of which may be painless and invisible to the patient. We can look into difficult areas with X-rays and mirrors and identify early signs of infections. Dental checkups are essential for preventative dental measures. 


Myth 8: Gum Disease is Rare and Only Affects the Mouth. Back to the topic of gum disease, it’s unfortunately quite widespread. Over 46% of all Americans over 30 struggle with gum disease. Gum disease can also link to other health issues, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Keep your body safe by taking care of your gums. 


Myth 9: Chewing Gum is Like Brushing. Chewing gum is certainly not a replacement for cleaner teeth. White chewing gum can promote cleaner teeth and better breath; it’s certainly not a replacement for proper oral hygiene. 


Myth 10: Pregnant Women Should Avoid the Dentist. False! Due to hormonal changes, we can keep tabs on their dental well-being during the process. Gums may be more prone to swelling and irritation during pregnancy, which requires close monitoring and checkups. 


General Dentistry in Adelphi, Maryland

Now that you’re a dental expert, you have the opportunity to improve your dental health with the tips discussed here today. Feel free to grab some floss, schedule a dental checkup, or read similar dental blogs to increase your understanding. Our dentists, Dr. Paul W. Ashley and Dr. Michael Ashely are accredited professionals with decades of experience. When the time comes for your next dental appointment, invest in a quality clinic with the most advanced technology and procedures available. 


In other words, choose us! Schedule your appointment here today.