If you’ve been on this planet a while, chances are you’ve heard some pretty common dental myths. For example, if you’ve experienced a toothache, someone may have suggested putting an aspirin next to the tooth to soothe the pain quickly. If you tried it, you quickly found out that it does nothing for your pain, other than create a new one: a burning sensation in your gums. Or maybe you’ve heard that George Washington had wooden teeth that were prone to termite infestation. While Washington was an early user of dentures, his false teeth were actually made of metal and ivory that were stained, thus giving him a grainy smile. Some myths can be detrimental to your oral health though, making it important to uncover the truth. Take for instance the common belief about toothbrush bristles. Many believe that in order to remove plaque effectively, you should use a hard bristle. In reality, this type of brush can cause damage to your gum line. Here are some other common dental myths debunked, from the oral health experts over at the Huffington Post. Educate yourself, and pass it on.
Myth: Because baby teeth fall out, there’s no need to take care of them.
Fact: When routine dental care isn’t provided starting at a young age, primary teeth can decay, get infected and cause significant pain. Additionally, the premature loss of baby teeth (caused by decay) could cause issues with the way permanent teeth grow. Taking your child to the dentist regularly is the best way to monitor your child’s oral health and should begin around their first birthday.
Myth: Natural fruit juices won’t cause tooth decay like soda pop or candy.
Fact: The only “safe” drink for children is water when it comes from preventing tooth decay. Any beverage that includes sugar can cause it, and that includes formula and even breast-milk. Infants who are put to bed with a bottle are at risk of risk of developing tooth decay.
Myth: You shouldn’t see an orthodontist until after your child loses all of his baby teeth.
Fact: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids see an orthodontist at age 7 to assess potential problems. If the window is missed, it is possible that permanent teeth would need to be extracted to correct crowding.
Myth: My child will grow out of it.
Fact: Most orthodontic problems do not-self correct.
Myth: Wisdom teeth can cause other teeth to shift after orthodontics.
Fact: It’s understandable why many believe this to be true, but in reality, most post orthodontic shifts occur because of a late adolescent growth spurt of the lower jaw for a patient who is not wearing retainers.
Myth: Kids get more cavities than adults.
Fact: While the number of children with tooth decay is large, a growing number of adults are developing them too. Many medications cause dry mouth, or a lack of production of saliva. And because saliva helps keep teeth clean and protected, the number of cavities in seniors is on the rise.
There are too many myths floating around to discuss here, but the best way to protect yourself from being misled is to visit your dentist regularly. Develop an open dialogue with the professionals in your dental office and don’t be afraid to ask questions.