Do you fear the dentist due to that horror story you heard as a child?
You’re not alone. We understand that visiting the dentist can be a daunting experience and many people are left not knowing whom to believe when it comes to oral health.
That is why today we want to clear up some of these myths, so you can walk into the dentist with a smile and more of an understanding of what makes a healthy mouth.
You should buy a toothbrush with hard bristles
If you have sensitive teeth or enamel erosion, a toothbrush with soft bristles is the best choice. Hard bristles could potentially damage your tooth by wearing away at the enamel and cause damage to your gums. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes!
I’m too old for braces
Absolutely not! Your teeth can be moved at any age. Many adults will think that they have missed out on the chance to straighten their teeth or jawline but that is not the case. Braces could be an option if you have over crowding or spaces in-between your teeth.
Gum disease and tooth decay are more likely if your teeth are crammed together, this is due to the build up of plaque and bacteria. Without a straight smile, you may also have difficulty chewing certain foods and suffer from speech problems due to the position of your teeth and jawline.
If braces sound like something you could need, talk to your dentist to discuss your options. It is important to note that the process may take longer than a child as their bones are still growing, meaning teeth can be moved more easily. But don’t worry, it’s worth the wait – with a straight smile you can be confident in your appearance and also that your oral hygiene will benefit.
Here at River Practice, we pride ourselves in offering advanced technological treatments. We provide fixed, removable braces and Invisalign. This treatment has become a very popular choice, offering either a removable clear aligner or behind the teeth fixed braces called Incognito.
If you would like to discuss our treatments further, contact us.
You will lose your teeth when pregnant
Many women were told that with every baby they would lose one tooth. Do not fear, as this is not the case! It is true however that during pregnancy you could face dental issues. The increase in hormones can lead to changes in your body’s response to plaque build up.
Don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly and keep on top of dental hygiene during pregnancy and keep brushing your teeth twice a day. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth.
If you experience morning sickness, it is best to avoid brushing your teeth straight after vomiting. Rinse your mouth with water, use fluoridated mouthwash and wait until at least an hour to brush your teeth after being sick.
Healthy teeth are pearly white
You may be surprised to hear that the healthiest teeth are not white – they are in fact more yellow in colour. If you have darker teeth this could be down to many factors such as smoking, consumption of alcohol or metabolic disorders.
If you have stained teeth from drinks such as coffee and would like them whitened, many dental practices can offer effective treatments. At River Practice we know how annoying stained teeth can be from food and drink. Although we would recommend avoiding over consumption, we can offer take-home trays and also our in-sugary AirFlow lemon jet spray.
Also, just because you have white teeth doesn’t mean you don’t have cavities tucked in between them! The colour of your teeth can vary from person to person and as you get older they will begin to discolour due to the erosion of the enamel over a long period of time.
My dentist won’t see the dirt if I brush my teeth before my appointment
If you do not follow good dental hygiene, you won’t be able to hide this from your dentist. Although it is good to clean your teeth before heading to your appointment, your dentist will be able to spot swollen gums and tooth decay during your examination.
You can’t hide! Time to get your routine back in check.
I brush my teeth all the time so they’re healthy
Although it is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, brushing excessively could lead to rubbing away at the enamel and could cause damage. Continue to rinse your teeth after eating and also visit your dentist on a regular basis – they may spot something you are not aware of.
You don’t need to take your child to the dentist until their second tooth appears
Wrong! It is recommended to take your child to visit the dentist once their first tooth has appeared. Your dentist can offer any advice and guidance, while answering any questions you may have while you’re there.
Your child may develop tooth decay while having their milk teeth. Just because they are going to fall out, doesn’t mean they escape from having any problems. Tooth decay can cause pain and infections, which is no fun for anyone…
To prevent your child from getting cavities, ensure they maintain good oral hygiene and moderate the amount of sugar they are consuming.
Forget about X-rays
Many people believe that X-rays are unnecessary but they are great way to detect decay. Your dentist will let you know if you are in need of one and this is usually to check your mouth is healthy.
You will loose teeth as you get older
Due to advances in technology and education of good oral hygiene, we are more likely to keep all of our teeth during our lifetime.
Don’t forget to visit your dentist if you have any concerns, it is better to address problems sooner so they can be dealt with as soon as possible.
Forget flossing – it’s not useful!
Many people do not floss but it’s so important to remove any extra build up of plaque in those areas your toothbrush can’t get to. If the bacterium is left, it can lead to gum disease, decay and can also be painful.
Flossing is easy and efficient, so don’t leave it out of your routine.
Electric toothbrush is better than manual
You can have good oral hygiene with both an electric and a manual toothbrush. As long as you properly brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, it doesn’t matter what brush you use. For children however it could be useful to have an electric toothbrush simply because of the timer. It can allow children to be guided and make the experience fun!
Root canals are painful
People often dread the though of root canals due to hearing horror stories. Although the initial tooth infection can be painful, the treatment is far from it. During treatment you will be given local anaesthetic, making the whole experience painless and stress free.
One of the main reasons people do not visit the dentist is due to the fear of the experience being painful. Due to technological advances and procedures, visiting the dentist is actually a comfortable experience and one you don’t need to worry about.
I’m not in pain so I don’t need to visit the dentist
With any initial problems with your teeth and gums, you are unlikely to experience any pain. It is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis, so they can spot any warning signs and act upon problems fast.
You need to rinse your mouth with water after brushing your teeth
This is one of those myths people always fall for as many of us were told this by our parents. You should be spitting out the toothpaste once you have finished brushing and not rinsing your mouth with water. Your teeth will benefit from the fluoride in the toothpaste as it will fight against decay, strengthen the enamel and also reduce the acid on your teeth.
Your filling has a life expectancy
You may be happy to know that a filling could last you for forty years but unfortunately for some this is not the case. Some fillings can weaken easily and last only a year.
To ensure that you have your filling for as long as possible, maintain good oral hygiene, brush teeth regularly and visit your dentist!
Reach for fruit juice and diet drinks
Nope. Fruit juices actually contain a lot of natural sugar that can also have a negative effect on your teeth. If you consume a lot of fruit juice, over time the enamel on your teeth will slowly wear away which can lead to cavities. The best drink to consume is water as not only is it healthy to stay hydrated throughout the day, it also contains fluoride that helps to protect your teeth.
Dried fruit is better than chocolate
Many people grew up thinking that raisins were the perfect snack. Unfortunately this is not the case as they are filled with natural sugar, making them a bad choice. It could be argued that chocolate is better to reach for as it can be washed away quickly, a raisin on the other hand could be stuck in your tooth for hours… Of course it is better to keep away from both of these snacks so try reaching for nuts and seeds instead.
You can’t replace a knocked out tooth
You may be happy to discover that you can in fact reimplant a knocked out tooth. The ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be reformed but that is if the conditions are right. If you happen to knock out a tooth, rinse it with clean water carefully, try and place it back into the socket or if that fails place it in a container of milk. Milk is a great solution, offering proteins, sugar and antibacterial substances, which protects the tooth. If there’s no milk, simply place it in your cheek – but be careful! You need to get to a dentist fast.
Well, we hope that cleared a few things up…
It’s clear there are a few unclear messages and facts when it comes to teeth and visiting the dentist. The main points to take from this are to ensure you regularly visit your dentist for check-ups. Your dentist can look out for any warning signs, clean your teeth if necessary and answer any of your questions.
Don’t forget to visit your dentist if you have any problems, whether it’s toothache or bleeding gums. It is worth chatting to your dentist to find out what could be causing the problem and what you can do to help.
Don’t forget to take a look at our full list of treatments and contact us if you would like to book an appointment.