Even in this day and age, when we all have the near-limitless research power of the internet literally in our pockets, countless myths and misconceptions continue to be passed off as true. Some are harmless, like the old saw that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern that started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, or even humorous, such as the myth that Twinkies have a functionally infinite shelf life. However, there are some myths and misconceptions that can do real damage, especially those that are related to your health. Unfortunately, there are lots of common misconceptions about teeth and oral care. That’s the bad news. The good news is that your Overland Park Family Dentist is here to dispel the rumors and shed some light on the real facts of good dental hygiene!
MYTH: If your parents had a good history of dental health, so will you. Not necessarily. While genetics may play a part in determining your risk for certain diseases and conditions, the best way to ensure good dental health is by brushing and flossing every day, eating a healthy diet, and seeing your Overland Park dentist regularly.
MYTH: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is just as beneficial as brushing. The “gum trick” is a great way to tide yourself over when you can’t brush or floss, such as when you’re at work or on the go, but it’s just a stopgap measure until you get to a place where you can resume brushing and flossing regularly. When you get right down to it, nothing else is as effective.
MYTH: You shouldn’t see the dentist when you’re pregnant. Actually, the exact opposite is true. Because pregnant women are actually more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to complications in pregnancy, it is especially important to continue regular visits to your Overland Park family dentist during pregnancy.
MYTH: You should stop flossing if your gums start to bleed. Bleeding gums don’t mean that you’re damaging your mouth by flossing too much. In fact, they’re usually a sign that you need to floss better and more regularly. Stopping now will only make the problem worse.
MYTH: If you brush properly, you don’t need to floss. Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the best things that you can do for your oral health, but it’s only part of the equation. If you brush but don’t floss, you’re only doing half the job, and while half is better than none, it’s not going to protect you from gum disease and other problems that you can stave off by brushing, flossing, and making regular visits to see your Overland Park dentist.
MYTH: A toothache will go away on its own. Not likely. While toothaches can have many causes, they are almost always an indication of some kind of underlying problem such as a cavity or infection. And those underlying problems aren’t going to go away on their own. In fact, they’re just going to get worse and worse over time, and your toothache is going to get worse right along with them. Your best bet if you have a toothache is to come see your Overland Park dentist as soon as you can, so that we can address the cause of the toothache and help you find relief.
These are just a few of the most common misconceptions about oral health that are floating around out there. At the end of the day, whatever you may be wondering about your own dental health, the best person to ask is your Overland Park dentist! We’re always here to answer your questions, so give us a call at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or ask the dentist anything you want to know!