Everyone loves a healthy, pearly white smile. There’s nothing quite like the confidence boost you get from having beautiful teeth.
Don’t just take our word for it. A study conducted by Kelton Research found that white teeth have a direct impact on both social and professional health.
This desire for white teeth has led many people to follow what we call “pseudoscience” advice.
Have you ever read those health blogs that claim acai berries cure cancer, or other various wildly inaccurate claims?
Well, these dental myths are largely the same thing. What’s worse, they actually destroy your smile instead of fixing it.
We want you to have a healthy smile that leads to a happy life. So, we’re bringing you our top 7 dental myths that destroy smiles.
This dental myth is somewhat dubious, so read carefully. Tooth whitening solutions, on the whole, do not hurt your enamel.
However, less than quality tooth whitening products can and will cause your enamel to decay.
Tooth bleaching strips or trays using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to oxidize the surface of your tooth.
This in itself isn’t dangerous.
The danger comes from using less than reputable products that contain improper levels of carbamide peroxide, which causes high levels of acidity.
It’s the acidity that hurts your teeth. Always look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when you’re buying a whitening product. Products marked with this seal are safe.
It’s also wise to check with your dentist before whitening your teeth. Those with already damaged enamel are susceptible to further damage.
Long and short, tooth whitening is safe, so long as you’re not buying cheap products from China.
We’re not sure where this dental myth came from, but it’s utter nonsense. In fact, flossing is recommended for bleeding gums.
Your gums start to bleed as the result of plaque build up between your teeth. The only way to reach this plaque? Floss!
The same goes for brushing, though to a lesser extent. Most people won’t see plaque build up on their exposed gum surfaces.
However, years of bad brushing habits can lead to plaque build up anywhere. If you stop brushing your bleeding gums you’re asking for plaque to take hold.
Extreme levels of plaque cause gingivitis and eventually gum disease. This leads to tooth loss and other health issues.
Want a healthy smile? Floss! Floss! Floss!
This is another head scratcher. Yes, don’t get dental x-rays taken when you’re pregnant. Local anesthesia is another no go.
Though, there’s no reason that regular teeth cleanings will hurt your unborn child.
Think of it logically. What happens when you visit the dentist? We clean, floss, and blast your teeth dental-grade baking soda.
None of those things pose any threat to your pregnancy. In fact, you’re probably exposed to all three on a daily basis (well, maybe not the scraping).
Avoiding cleanings for nine months goes against the biannual cleaning schedule most dentists suggest.
We promise we aren’t blasting you with any more radiation than absolutely necessary.
The fact of the matter is that dental x-rays are important to monitoring health issues unapparent to the human eye.
Root canal problems? Expect x-rays.
Sensitive teeth? X-rays again.
Bone disease caused by gum disease? More x-rays.
The positives of dental x-rays far outweigh the negatives. Though, if that’s still not enough to quell your fears, consider this.
Dental x-rays have one of the lowest radiation levels of any medical procedure. Each x-ray emits 0.005 mSv, which is less than one day of background radiation.
It’s also about the same exposure level as a1-2 hour airplane ride. Frequent flyer? You’re getting more radiation from traveling than from your dental x-rays.
People have variations in their natural tooth color, just like hair color and eye color. Your teeth might just naturally look darker than others.
This isn’t an issue, and in fact is something more people need to understand.
There’s a prevailing myth that white teeth mean your mouth is exceedingly healthy, and therefore you don’t need diligent oral hygiene habits.
Do not believe this myth. White teeth result from a number of factors, but have no link to oral health.
Imagine this scenario. You whiten your teeth every day, but don’t floss and only brush once a day. You’ll probably have very white teeth.
Someone else smokes and has stained teeth, but they brush and floss twice a day. This person also sees the dentist twice a year.
Despite the smoking, they’re obvious taking better care of their teeth than you are.
Neglecting oral hygiene because of white teeth is an excellent way to lose your beautiful smile.
Of all dental myths, the idea that brushing harder must remove more plaque from your teeth is deeply ingrained in society. It makes sense, right? Wrong!
Brushing too hard contributes to enamel loss, gum recession, bleeding gums, and tooth sensitivity.
There’s no good reason to brush your teeth like you’re trying to grind them into dust.
Soft, gentle brushing for longer periods of time is the key. This ensures your teeth are plaque free without scraping away at your gums and enamel.
Oh, and one more thing. Buy a soft bristle toothbrush. Hard bristles contribute to brushing damage and only serve to ruin your smile.
Sometimes this is true. If you’re not brushing enough you will indeed have less than pleasant breath.
However, there is also a multitude of foods that contribute to foul smelling breath. Garlic, anyone? Even certain illnesses can cause bad breath.
Brushing and flossing twice a day is plenty, and will keep your mouth healthy regardless of your eating habits.
Over brushing creates some of the same problems as brushing too hard. Namely, gum recession and enamel loss.
There you have it, our top 7 dental myths that could destroy your healthy smile.
Remember to always consult with your dentist about any uncertainty concerning your oral hygiene.
Any one of these dental myths can cause real damage, even though that isn’t your intention.
Misinformation is a powerful and dangerous thing.