Dental myths and misconceptions prohibit you from pursuing timely dental care; which when ignored gradually cause bigger problems leading to more time consuming, expensive treatments with compromised results. Taking care of teeth as much as you take care of yourself reflects on total bodily well-being. Mentioned below are some common myths and the truth busting them:
1. Removing teeth weakens eyesight: Removing a tooth does not affect eyesight as there is no direct link between the two.
2. Cleaning teeth makes them thinner & loose: Professional cleaning removes only the tartar/calculus and plaque stuck on to teeth without damaging the teeth underneath. Sometimes when large amounts of deposits that were holding the teeth together are removed the teeth might become mobile transiently but with bone healing they stabilise. It may also give the illusion as if the teeth have become thinner.
3. Little bleeding on brushing is normal: Gums bleed only when inflamed, infected or otherwise injured. Hence bleeding gums are always a cause of concern and need to be attended to.
4. One should not brush if gums are bleeding: Plaque & food debris cause gums to swell and bleed. These deposits can be removed only with thorough brushing and flossing. If gum bleeding persists, a professional dental cleaning may be required.
5. Root canal is done only when the tooth starts hurting: Root canal treatment is done to save a tooth. The sooner it is done more tooth structure is preserved and treatment results are more predictable.An infected, painful tooth takes longer to heal.
6. Milk teeth fall off; saving them is not important: Milk teeth fall off at different stages of growth of the child (ages 6 to 12 years). Premature loss of back teeth reduces jaw size hampering its growth. This leads to greater chances of crowding of the upcoming permanent teeth. Premature loss of front teeth hampers development of articulated speech.
7. Teeth can be straightened only in children/ adolescents: Teeth can be straightened at any age. A concerning cause for most adults is their appearance while treatment is on. Newer treatment modalities like ceramic braces, lingual braces and invisible aligners make braces virtually invisible.
8. All dental treatments should be suspended in pregnancy: On the contrary keeping good oral health during pregnancy is of utmost importance. With hormonal changes gum diseases are more likely if teeth are not cleaned properly. The second trimester is considered the safest for treatment. Cleanings and fillings can be done; X-rays are made only if absolutely necessary and only with lead apron. Antibiotics are avoided during the entire term of pregnancy. The dentist should be informed of the pregnancy before any procedure is begun.
9. Whitening teeth weakens them: When done at the dentist’s office or under dentist’s instructions at home whitening causes no damage to the teeth. Some patients may have short term teeth sensitivity that can be prevented by applying a desensitizing fluoridated varnish aftertreatment.
10. Any dental treatment once done is for life: No dental treatment is maintenance free. Follow up visits are needed to ensure everything is in order. A 6 month follow up visit is recommended whether there are any obvious problems/ discomforts or not.
11. All dental treatments are painful: Regular follow up visits and timely intervention can lead to painless comfortable dental treatments.