You likely already realize the importance of upkeeping dental hygiene. You may brush twice daily for the recommended two minutes, floss regularly, and see your dentist twice per year. Still, with all those great habits in place, there is room for misconceptions when it comes to oral health and your dental practitioner. Whether you have let your dental health slide or are steadfast in caring for your teeth, these are a few myths to which you may have fallen prey.
Myth 1: Gum Disease Only Affects Your Mouth
Gum disease is certainly a major problem for oral health, but the ramifications go far beyond the mouth. Research is indicating a connection between the inflammation of gum disease and inflammation associated with systematic disease affecting other tissues and organs throughout the body. Recent finding suggest that oral health may be indicative of systemic health. Additionally, the bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream, allowing it to contribute to conditions such as respiratory disease, stroke, coronary artery disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and osteoporosis.
Myth 2: Brushing Harder gets Teeth Cleaner
It seems logical that the harder you scrub something the cleaner it will become. While this may be true for your countertops or floors, the teeth require a far more delicate touch. While the enamel that covers teeth is quite strong and resilient, it can be eroded over time. This can leave teeth less protected and can even dull their appearance. Furthermore, brushing too aggressively can negatively affect the gums, leading to recession.
Myth 3: All Cavities Come from Sugar
Sugar from candy, chocolate, sodas and other sweets is the culprit we most often associate with cavities, and while there is certainly a connection, there are other causes as well. Food products such as crackers or chips contain carbohydrates, another source of sugar that can also damage teeth. The safest bet is to always rinse your mouth after eating, no matter the type of food you may have consumed.
Myth 4: Dental Work has to be Uncomfortable
Fear and anxiety about the dentist and dental work is quite common. In some cases, it may prevent a patient from seeking dental care at all. Others may simply suffer their way through procedures they know are needed. In reality, neither of these need to be the case. Today’s dentists have a wealth of options available to help patients relax and take the edge off of an anxiety-producing experience. Some, such as The Smile Spa, even offer sedation dentistry options, making the process simple, relaxing, and pain-free. There is everything from IV sedation with a nurse anesthesis , a “ happy pill” given in the office that puts you in a very relaxed state with some amnesia affects , and lastly the much loved nitrous oxide / laughing gas.
We all want healthy, beautiful smiles, and that means understanding the many factors that come into play regarding our oral health. If you are ready to step up your dental hygiene appointment to be sure you have no gum disease and or not brushing too hard, to check for any cavities that could be growing in your mouth right now, or to talk about the best sedation option for you, just contact Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger, and request a new patient appointment at The Smile Spa by clicking below or calling 225-292-7645.