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Top 5 Dental Myths Debunked

We’ve been in the business of caring for teeth for a long time. In that time, we’ve heard some whoppers! Just like cavities, misconceptions about dental care can create a lot of problems for patients if left uncorrected. So, it’s time to shine some light on these tall tales. Below are the top 5 dental myths debunked. Here’s why these untruths are full of more holes than University Ridge! 
  • Myth #1: No Toothache = No Appointment Necessary
  • Myth #2: Kids Don’t Need Fillings
  • Myth #3: Flossing is Optional.
  • Myth #4: Brushing Harder is Brushing Better.
  • Myth #5: Whitening Treatments are Bad for Your Teeth.

Myth #1: No Toothache = No Appointment Necessary

Let’s get this one out of the way first. One of the leading causes of dental issues in patients is having gone too long without regular cleanings and exams. The twice yearly check-up and exam is essential for catching decay, gingivitis, and other issues while the problems are still small. The problem with not seeing a dentist if your teeth don’t hurt is that early dental issues such as early-stage gingivitis and cavities are often painless. It’s only when they progress and require more difficult and expensive treatment that they become painful.  Keep small problems small by seeing your dentist regularly and practicing proper oral hygiene. 

Myth #2: Kids Don’t Need Fillings 

Their teeth will just fall out anyway, right? Oh boy, is this wrong too! While it’s true that little ones’ teeth will eventually fall out, children will need to keep them for several years. That’s more than enough time for a small cavity to progress to a very serious dental situation. Untreated dental decay can become painful. It can lead to chewing and speaking difficulties. Tooth decay can also spread in the mouth, especially in areas where two teeth touch. Decay can also become so serious as to result in a root canal or even tooth loss. When children lose teeth prematurely, adult teeth can drift to the wrong position as they come in, requiring orthodontic intervention.  Spare your kiddo these tough dental situations by having his or her cavities treated promptly and encouraging good brushing and flossing habits. For further reading: Do Baby Teeth Really Need Fillings?   

Myth #3: Flossing is Optional.

Imagine washing only two-thirds of your dirty dishes or doing only two-thirds of your laundry (hard to imagine, we know-ha!) There’d still be a decent part of the job left to do! The same goes for flossing. Flossing can remove up to 40% of cavity-causing food, debris, and plaque from between the teeth. When flossing gets skipped, a large portion of your teeth still remain dirty, which can also cause bad breath. So, put this whopper to rest and remember: you wouldn’t skip a day brushing your teeth, so you shouldn’t skip a day flossing!

Myth #4: Brushing Harder is Brushing Better.

When rushed for time, it’s tempting to think that you can speed things up by simply brushing harder. If you brush twice as hard, you can brush twice as fast, right? Wrong! Brushing too hard can actually hurt your teeth. Too-aggressive brushing damages the enamel on your teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and put you more at risk for cavities. It can also damage the gums. Gum recession, where the gums pull back from their natural position on the tooth, is often caused by vigorous brushing. Gum recession exposes dentin underneath the gums. This also creates sensitivity, increases the risk of decay, as well as gingivitis.   Proper brushing only takes two minutes. Using gentle circular strokes, be sure to brush all sides of each tooth. You can save time elsewhere–don’t skimp on toothbrushing!

Myth #5: Whitening Treatments are Bad for Your Teeth.

Another concern we hear from patients who are interested in tooth whitening is that it will damage their teeth. Fortunately, we are happy to report that this is a myth too. We have multiple methods for whitening teeth that are enamel-safe. Our at-home and in-office treatments both provide beautiful results while keeping teeth healthy. Read about our convenient teeth whitening services here.

Affiliated Dentists in Madison, Wisconsin

If you’ve gone a little too long between cleanings and need to get back on track or are interested in scheduling a teeth whitening consult, contact us today. Affiliated Dentists provides general, pediatric, and cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening in Madison, Wisconsin.

Top 5 Dental Myths Debunked brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson

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