There are lots of myths in medicine. Dentistry is no exception. Lack of patients` awareness, absence of oral cavity care culture and unjustified fear of pain brings force to dozens of excuses for which patients postpone visiting the dental clinic.
Let`s try to buster common oral health and treatment myths.
Myths about dental treatment
Myth 1. You only need to go to the dentist if your teeth hurt
According to official statistics, every third world citizen is afraid of going to the dentist. Therefore, they often go to the dentist only in case of pain.
Although dentists remind that diseases of the teeth and tissues of the oral cavity can be:
- painless. For example, caries at the “chalky spot” stage
- unnoticeable for the patient (destruction of enamel at the junction of the lateral surfaces of the teeth or on the back of the molars).
Consequently, we need preventive examinations at the dentist at least once every six months.
Myth 2. All patients, regardless of age and dental condition, need to visit the dentist 2 times a year if there are no complaints.
The frequency of visits to the dentist for preventive purposes is individual for each patient. And the frequency is determined by the dentist. For example, pregnant women, patients with braces, patients with gum disease, children with a risk of caries progression, it is advisable to undergo a preventive dental examination once every three months.
Myth 3. It is better to remove a sick tooth immediately, rather than treat it.
Long-term dental practice has proven that the loss of only one tooth reduces the chewing efficiency of the dentition by about 10%. Load distribution on the teeth line is disrupted, which causes problems with digestion. In addition, at the place of the extracted tooth due to the absence of nerve endings irritation and pressure on the jaw bone, the bone tissue becomes thinner over time. This is why experienced dentists make significant efforts to preserve the tooth. And when this is not possible, a dental implant is installed after tooth extraction.
Myth 4. There is no need to treat baby teeth. They will fall out anyway
A child has baby teeth on average from 6 months to 12 years. During this time they:
- chew food. Food, if poorly chewed due to decayed teeth or soreness, inadequate functioning of the gastrointestinal tract
- retain space for permanent teeth. If a milk tooth decays due to caries before it should have fallen out, then adjacent teeth may shift and take its place. And for a permanent tooth there will be no space in the dentition
- take part in the formation of sounds. Defects in the dentition influence diction, which in the future can form psychological complexes.
And a tooth with chronic caries is a constant focus of infection in the nasopharynx.
Modern equipment and computer anesthesia allow to treat milk teeth quickly and painlessly for a child.
Myth 5. Pregnant women should not have their teeth treated
The myth is based on the danger of common dental painkillers for the fetus and uterine tone. Modern anesthesia, for example, STA, allows anesthesia to be carried out extremely accurately and helps to cure the teeth of the expectant mother painlessly and safely.
The expectant mother needs to treat teeth! Due to fluctuations in the hormonal background, saliva becomes thicker and tartar and plaque on the teeth form faster. There is a risk of gum disease. Also, during pregnancy, there may be increased sensitivity of the teeth and exacerbation of chronic diseases of the oral cavity.
As for the prohibitions for pregnant women, they are contraindicated:
- teeth whitening
- removal of dental calculus (in certain trimesters, by certain methods)
- use adrenaline and “old generation” anesthetics
- to put implants and braces.
Myth 6. Braces are effective only in adolescence
Orthodontists claim that bite correction can be done at any age. Actually, after 30-40 years, the process of dentition correction takes longer than at 13 and can take 2-3 years.
Myths about oral hygiene
Myth 7. Toothbrush and toothpaste – everything you need for oral hygiene
In 90% of patients, dentists observe problems with bite and aesthetics of the dentition (teeth “crawl” on top of each other). Crowded teeth require the use of dental floss to clean the interdental space. For example, thanks to an irrigator and brushes, periodontal pockets are better cleaned. Mouthwash helps control the pH of the mouth, freshens breath. Therefore, in addition to the paste and the brush, your periodontist will help you choose a standard set for oral hygiene.
Myth 8. Fluoride in toothpaste is harmful
It’s not like that. Studies show that using fluoride toothpastes can help prevent tooth decay. The amount of fluoride in the toothpaste is selected by the dentist after a clinical examination. The use of high-quality toothpaste in the amount of a pea for hygiene can never cause a toxic effect on the organism and harm the enamel of the teeth.
An exception to the use of fluoride toothpaste may be residents of regions with a high fluoride content in drinking water.
Myth 9. Hard toothbrushes are better at removing plaque
The quality of plaque removal is influenced by both the stiffness of the bristles and the duration of brushing. Excessive pressure on tooth enamel or using a hard brush can cause enamel to be disrupted. In addition, stiff bristles provoke bleeding of sensitive gums with periodontitis, gingivitis. Therefore, dentists advise using toothbrushes with soft to medium bristles. And not to forget about mouthwash and dental floss.
Myth 10. Flossing can create spaces between your teeth
First, the density of dental floss is not enough to destroy healthy tooth enamel. Secondly, dental floss removes plaque and food remains from the interdental space. This very area, especially with an incorrect bite or defects in the dentition, is poorly cleaned with a toothbrush. There remains food and microorganisms are actively developing. So flossing only improves the efficiency of brushing your teeth. When using dental floss, the main thing is not to damage the gums. The periodontist will not only choose a suitable thread, but also teach how to use it.
We recommend that every patient, regardless of the state of the oral cavity and age, make an appointment for preventive examinations of the oral cavity every 6 months.
During such examinations, the doctor will evaluate the condition of the teeth and gum, give practical recommendations for care and be able to see unwanted changes.
And remember, prevention is better than cure!