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10 Common (& Disproven) Dental Health Myths

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There is no one solution for a healthy smile. Doctors and other oral care professionals recommend all kinds of different treatments for their patients, and no two patients are alike. However, there are common misconceptions about oral health floating around through the internet or by word of mouth, and this advice could lead to otherwise unintended oral health issues.

Dentists want you to have a healthy smile, and this guide can help you wade through some of the most common dental myths and misconceptions.

Eating A Lot Of Sugar Can Cause Cavities

It is common knowledge that sugar is terrible for your teeth, but what does that mean? Ingesting a lot of sugar does not technically cause tooth decay, how long the sugar remains in your mouth is the real cause.

Sugars introduced into your mouth causes bacteria to produce acids that slowly eat away at your tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities.

Minerals found in your saliva, in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, can help repair the enamel worn down by the harmful bacteria, strengthening your teeth.

Sugar-Free Sodas are Fine For Your Teeth

A common misconception is that sugar-free sodas are not harmful to your teeth. However, even without sugar, the acidity of soda can still be very damaging to your tooth enamel.

The average pH level of water sits at 7, which is neutral on the scale of acids and bases. However, diet sodas sit around a level of 2 or 3, which is still incredibly acidic to your teeth. For reference, the pH level of battery acid sits at a 1.

White Teeth are Healthy Teeth

Teeth whitening is a popular service and many people take steps to brighten their smile. Around 18-52% of people are not happy with the colour of their teeth. That said, a pearly white smile is not necessarily an indicator of healthy teeth.

The natural colour of teeth changes from person to person. Instead of basing health on the colour of your teeth, dentists look for indicators like fresh breath and zero cavities to determine your overall oral health.

Braces Are Only For When You’re Young

Braces are a way for many people to get the smile they desire. However, braces have often been misconstrued to be something children and teens have to deal with as a part of growing up. This is not true. 

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More and more adults are starting to see the benefit of having braces. If you didn’t get braces as a child or your teeth have shifted over time, straight teeth can still be achieved at any age. Options like Invisalign are also available to straighten your teeth without the look of braces.

Pregnant Mothers Should Avoid The Dentist

Some soon-to-be mothers might have some reservations about visiting the dentist while they are expecting. This could not be further from the truth. 

In fact, it is recommended by dentists that mothers should keep their regular check-ups during their pregnancy because hormone levels rise while a mother is expecting, and these hormone levels can cause gums to swell or bleed. 

Toothaches are No Cause For Worry If They Stop

If you are experiencing a toothache, but then the pain subsides, you should still see your dentist as soon as you can. Cavities often cause toothaches, as untreated cavities can reach a nerve inside your tooth, causing pain.

If the pain stops, the problem has not disappeared, but rather the cavity has killed the nerve inside your tooth.

Oral Health Does Not Connect To Your Body

Your mouth is home to a lot of bacteria, some of them harmless and some of them beneficial. However, your oral health can determine the well-being of the rest of your body since your mouth is can be an entry point for harmful bacteria. 

By neglecting the health of your teeth, you are making your body vulnerable to a host of different types of diseases like endocarditis, pneumonia, and cardiovascular disease. By keeping a good oral care routine and seeing your dentist regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of other diseases entering your body.

The Health Of Your Teeth Deteriorates With Age

Your oral health changes over time, but this does not mean your oral health will get worse and there is nothing you can do about it. By keeping a tremendous dental routine and checking in with your dentist regularly, you can have excellent oral health leading well into your senior years. 

The processes on how to do so change with age and from person to person, so be sure to book regular appointments with your dentist to find the best oral care routine for you. 

Baby Teeth Do Not Matter

The importance of baby teeth cannot be understated. While still being very necessary for your child to chew and speak at an early age, baby teeth also serve the purpose of creating space for adult teeth to come in. 

Removing a baby tooth prematurely will leave a space open for other teeth to shift around, which can cause problems like overlapping and crookedness. Overly-shifted teeth can make it hard to maintain a great oral health routine going into the future.

Bleaching Is Bad For Your Teeth

In the early days of tooth whitening, patients often considered bleaching to be harmful to their teeth. Since the acidic nature of bleaching would dissolve the protective enamel, your teeth can be left vulnerable to all types of cavities and tooth decay.

However, this is not the case anymore. Dentists are now using safe and non-acidic bleaching methods to help whiten your teeth making modern teeth whitening safe and effective.

Talk With Your Dentist

It is important not to believe everything you hear or see regarding your oral health. By speaking with your dentist, you can get the right advice for you to have a long-lasting and beautiful smile.

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  • Written by Dr. Reena Kaloti

    Dr. Kaloti enjoys helping people, both at personally and professionally, and have fun while doing so. She always knew she wanted a job that allowed her to do that, and spent her childhood babysitting, lifeguarding, teaching swimming lessons, and volunteering in the geriatrics unit of her local hospital. She enjoys working with patients of all ages.

    Dr. Kaloti started studying dentistry in 2000 and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with her DMD. After practicing dentistry for five years, she decided to take some time to focus on building her family. When she returned to work, Dr. Kaloti and Dr. Minhas decided to partner up and open up West 85th Dental. Their vision was to create a warm, inviting office and a pleasant and relaxing experience that would make their patients look forward to visiting.

    At West 85th Dental, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive dental care to all our patients by providing thorough examinations, explaining our findings clearly, educating our patients about oral hygiene, and providing multiple treatment options that allow our patients to make educated decisions about their health and care.

    When Dr. Kaloti is not seeing patients, she spends her time doing charity runs, water sports, pilates, and spending time with her family.

    More Articles by Dr. Reena Kaloti

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