The 5 most common myths about dentistry

There are far too many dental myths out there! Over the last few weeks, my patients have been sharing with me their new years goals. Many of which involve improving their oral health. I am busting the 5 most common myths in this blog so you can enter the new year with better dental knowledge. Read on to learn more and take the first step towards improving your oral health.

I’m too old for teeth that look and feel good

Age is not a barrier to improving your oral health and smile through cosmetic dentistry. A common concern is that the teeth may look unnatural and fake. However, a natural result can be readily achieved in the hands of the right dentist. The key is communication during the whole process and working together to discuss shape, shade and bite issues. Examples of treatment that can improve the look and feel of your teeth include: veneers and Invisalign.

I have to brush my teeth straight after every meal 

This is false! It is better to wait 30-60 minutes before you brush your teeth. This is especially important if you have eaten something acidic such as a salad with lots of lemon or vinegar dressing or have been drinking soft drinks. Another important note is women experiencing morning sickness should wait at least 60 minutes before brushing. It is best to rinse with water to try and buffer the stomach acids sitting on your teeth. Brushing your teeth immediately while your mouth is in an acidic state can actually dissolve tooth enamel (outer layer of the tooth). This leads to breakdown of your teeth and sensitivity.

Brushing my teeth really hard cleans them better

Hard bristled toothbrushes and heavy handed toothbrushing can lead to a lot of damage. Your gums will shrink away from your teeth, this is called gum recession. Gums are very fragile, they are more like the inside of a pineapple, rather than the outside. This gum cannot grow back on its own, so hard brushing can destroy this gum tissue. Hard toothbrushing can also wear down the enamel of your teeth, exposing the root surfaces. Your teeth can become very sensitive, so much that even just breathing in air can cause pain. Due to this, I recommend you use a soft bristled toothbrush – remember your mouth is a very sensitive area of your body, so be gentle!

My gums bleed when I brush or floss them so I better avoid that

Logically, if something bleeds we tend to leave it alone. For example, you cut your finger and it bleeds. In order for it to heal, you must leave it alone rather than aggravate it. However, when it comes to your gums, the opposite applies. Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis (gum infection). This infection is created due to a build up of plaque and food along your gum line. So, in order to get rid of this infection, you must remove the cause. In this case, the cause is the build up along the gums. The way in which to remove this is to gently brush your teeth whilst massaging your gums. Think of holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards your teeth and you will be able to clean this area really well. Oh, and also… remember to floss on the daily!

My dentist will judge me

At Riverstone Family Dental this will not happen. When I am working on my patients I see bits of food stuck between the teeth, stains from certain habits and other things some people might find embarrassing. However, I am so focussed on my diagnosis, treatment, making sure my patient is comfortable and ensuring my assistant is okay – that I have no time to judge something. Imagine how much mental space I would need to allocate towards judging something. I simply do not have the time for that – I would much rather focus on more productive things. So please, please do not ever feel like you must avoid your dentist due to fear of being judged. Chances are they have seen your condition hundreds of times over and they are focused on working with you to treat it.

Need a caring, family dentist for a broken tooth, filling or consultation?

Call Riverstone Family Dental on: (02) 8678 3538

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