Maintaining good oral health is as simple as brushing and flossing two to three times a day and scheduling regular cleanings with a dentist. There are, however, a few misconceptions about oral health that have cropped up over the years that might be leading you or your loved ones astray.
Myth #1: The More Sugary Treats You Eat, The Higher the Risk of Cavities
There is no direct correlation between the amount of sugar consumed and the probability of getting a cavity. While it is true that sugar coverts to acid which erodes the tooth enamel, the quantity of sugar eaten is irrelevant. Eating one cookie is just as damaging as eating two cookies where tooth decay is concerned. The key to avoiding cavities is brushing and flossing on a daily basis, particularly after consuming sugary foods.
Myth #2: No Pain Means Healthy Teeth
Tooth pain is usually a pretty indication that the teeth or gums are suffering from some kind of ailment that needs medial attention. In which case, no pain should mean that everything is happy and healthy, right? Not quite. In the early stages of tooth decay, pain is usually not a symptom because the decay has yet to reach the nerve under the tooth. This is why regular check ups and cleanings are an absolute must. During a regular cleaning, dentists have the opportunity inspect the teeth and gums for any sign of an impending health concern.
Myth #3: If the Gums Begin to Bleed, Stop Brushing
As mentioned earlier, bleeding gums is often an indication of poor oral hygiene. It may seem logical to stop brushing at the first sign of blood, but in reality the best course of action is to continue brushing and follow up with flossing. With regular and proper oral care the gums should cease bleeding.
Myth #4: Tooth Sensitivity Indicates Decay
Not all tooth pain is a result of decay. Occasionally, other health issues like a sinuous infection or environmental factors can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. Discuss options-- like toothpaste for sensitive teeth with a dentist-- to discover a possible solution.
Myth #5: Bleeding Gums is Nothing to Worry About
Given the earlier tidbit on bleeding gums it might be tempting to shrug off bloody gums as nothing to be concerned about. On the contrary, though bleeding gums can be a sign of neglected oral care, depending on how long proper care has been neglect it could be an indicator of a more serious health problem like gingivitis. If bleeding gums persist or the gums are tender to the touch, see a dentist immediately.