We’ve all been told since childhood that it’s important to take care of our teeth, but many of us still hold misconceptions about dental health, oral hygiene, and how to be sure we keep our smiles intact and beautiful. Some of these misconceptions can lead to long-term problems with our dental health. Here are some of those misconceptions.
The more you brush, the better. This isn’t necessarily true. You should brush your teeth regularly, preferably after every meal. Each brushing session should last about two minutes. But more frequent brushing, or brushing more aggressively or with a stiffer toothbrush, can actually harm your teeth. Excessive brushing can wear down the outer layer of enamel on your teeth, causing sensitivity and making your teeth more susceptible to cavities.
One missing tooth won’t cause any problems in the future. Many people who’ve lost only one or two teeth don’t worry about replacing them, especially if the gap isn’t readily visible. However, an empty space in your mouth can lead to major problems in the long term. Your other teeth will automatically shift, moving out of their proper position, which can lead to misalignment, premature wear, or temporomandibular joint disorder. If you’re missing even one tooth, you should consult with a prosthodontist about having the tooth replaced.
If I take good enough care of my teeth, I don’t have to go to the dentist. Even the most diligent oral hygiene can’t take the place of regular dental checkups. Your dentist has special knowledge and tools to help find and diagnose problems before they become serious. Using X-rays, they can find cavities long before they are visible to the naked eye or begin to cause discomfort. They also use special tools to measure the pockets around your teeth to determine if the gums are pulling back from the teeth. This is an early sign of inflammation and early gum disease. Visiting the dentist every six months means you’ll be more likely to find problems, including oral cancers, infections in the tooth interior, or impacted teeth, in early stages.
Call our office to discuss with one of our experienced, knowledgeable team members.