Common Dental Myths You Should Stop Believing

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Oral health needs adequate attention as it is linked with your overall
health in several ways. Oral health is often referred as the mirror of
the overall health of a person. There are many misconceptions related to
oral health. Due to these misconceptions, many times people end up
following wrong practices, ultimately landing up with oral health
issues. Untreated oral issues can lead to severe complication in future.
Here are some common misconceptions regarding oral health you need to
know. These will help you improve your overall dental health.

Common dental misconception

1) Only sweets cause cavities

Anything sticky which stays in
the mouth for a long time can cause an acidic environment in the mouth,
causing cavities. Preferably after a meal, you should at least gargle or
rinse with plain water, so that the layer formed on the teeth can be
removed.

2) White teeth are healthy

Definitely white teeth are
healthy, but the impression that yellow teeth are unhealthy is wrong.
Enamel shade and thickness can vary from person to person which can give
off a different colour other than white. White teeth are healthy but
yellow teeth are healthy too. If you feel teeth are too yellowish show
it to your dentist.

3) Brushing harder is better

The harder you brush, the more
injury you are causing your teeth and your gums. Harder brushing causes
abrasions that cause sensitivity. In fact, you should use a toothbrush
with soft bristles and the brushing motion should be circular or
vertical and not horizontal.

4) Drinking fluoride water for healthy teeth

Drinking
fluoride water is recommended. It helps in strengthening teeth and
re-mineralises the tooth enamel. But fluoride should be consumed in a
limited quantity, for adults’ it should be 1000 ppm per toothpaste, for
children less than six years it should be less 500 parts per ppm in
toothpaste. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes fluorosis.

5) Brushing suffices good oral health

In addition to brushing
twice a day, cleaning your gums by flossing and cleaning your tongue
with a tongue cleaner should be done. This is the bare minimum you
should be doing for good oral health.

6) Removing wisdom teeth affects your eyesight, memory

Due to
evolution in our eating habits, our jaws have become smaller hence
there is not enough place in our mouth to accommodate all the teeth, so
sometimes they come slanting and it causes problems to the adjacent
teeth. If that is the case then it is recommended that you get it
checked by your dentist and get it removed and no it will not affect
your memory or eyesight.

7) Bleeding gums is normal

Bleeding gums could be indicative
of other underlying conditions such as nutritional deficiencies or
diabetes and should not be ignored. Periodontitis which is a gum disease
can lead to teeth mobility and loss of teeth. They are also related to
heart diseases and can be avoided if proper oral hygiene is practiced.

Any
missing teeth should be immediately replaced because even one tooth
missing can harm the entire oral structure. Consumption of tobacco,
smoking and alcohol usage should be reduced or stopped and if any
changes in the insides of the mouth are noticed then a dentist should be immediately consulted.

(Dr. Akshay Raut is a Dentist at Noble Hospital in Pune)

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