10 Common Dental Myths Exploded

Fact or fiction? 10 commonly held beliefs are explained.

10 Dental Myths Exploded!

Fact or Fiction?

Myth (1)

White teeth are healthier teeth

FACT We may think they look better but, teeth are not meant to be pure white. You can help keep your teeth looking whiter by avoiding food and drinks that can stain teeth such as tea, coffee and red wine

Myth (2)

There is fluoride in our water supply

FACT - Only around 10% of the UK’s water supply has enough fluoride in to benefit your dental health. You can find out if there is fluoride in your water from your water supplier.

Myth (3)

Only the refined sugar in sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks and confectionary is bad for my teeth

FACT – While all these foods are bad for your teeth (and your general health), dried fruit, fruit juice and honey contain natural sugars that can cause tooth decay. Limit the amount of these foods you eat and give to children (including raisins) and do not snack on them between meals.

MYTH (4)

I will need false teeth when I am older

FACT – it is no longer an inevitable fact of life that teeth will be lost. Improvements in dental hygiene and treatments available mean that more of us keep our natural teeth into old age. In 1968, 37% of adults had no natural teeth. By 1998, this had fallen to 12%

MYTH (5)

Bleaching weakens teeth

FACT – Bleaching products are generally harmless if used according to the directions or as instructed by your dentist. That is because bleaching only affects the colour of the teeth, not their strength or health. It works by removing some of the teeth’s pigmentation which results in colour change. Whiter teeth may appear more translucent which some people may mistake for weakening of the enamel but it simply isn’t the case.

MYTH (6)

Brushing is bad for bleeding gums

FACT – On the surface, this myth might make sense – if your gums are bleeding it might seem logical to leave them alone until they heal however, with gums the opposite is true. Gums bleed when they become inflamed from plaque being left around the gum line. The key is to brush and floss regularly through the bleeding. It may take some time but, eventually, the bleeding and soreness should stop. If it doesn’t you may need to visit the hygienist to check that the technique you are using is correct.

MYTH ( 7)

A harder brush is better

FACT - It’s more about the technique you use than the strength of your brush. The bacteria that cause dental problems likes to breed in the dark moist difficult to reach areas in your mouth. You need a technique that will get into these hiding places. Hard bristled brushes won’t do anything a medium or soft brush won’t do if used in the correct way.

MYTH (8)

I’m too old to have braces

FACT – While many people have orthodontic treatment in their teens, bite function and appearance can be improved in your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and beyond. There is no age limit to having your teeth straightened and, with discreet modern techniques such as Invisalign available, more and more adults are choosing to correct malaligned teeth these days.

MYTH (9)

Pregnancy causes gum disease and tooth loss because the baby takes all the calcium

FACT – Pregnancy brings many changes to the body. Poor oral health and tooth loss are not among them. Having a baby doesn’t have a direct impact on oral health. That said, the oral hygiene and diet habits of a mum to be may change which then has an indirect affect on dental health. Things like morning sickness, craving sugary snacks and less vigilant oral hygiene habits can all have an indirect effect. You should visit your dentist/hygienist for advice if you are pregnant.

MYTH (10)

Receding gums means I have got gum disease

FACT - Receding gums can be caused by many different factors and, whilst it may be seen in patients with gum disease if this is the case, the recession would be accompanied by many other factors. More common causes are smoking, genetics and grinding/occlusion (the way your teeth meet together). Less common causes are overzealous brushing and habits such as gum picking and wood stick chewing.

MYTH (11)

the tooth fairy may not exist…..

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