These days we are presented with a vast assortment of information related to our health and well-being through social media and search engines. This month we examine the most common dental myths that we encounter here at Bite Dental Studios and give you our honest opinion on what we think of them.
MYTH: You can heal dental cavities.
Once a cavity is formed, you cannot grow back the tooth structure no matter what some internet sources may claim. Human teeth are made up of an organic matrix (think of it as a mesh) with inorganic minerals stuck to it.
During the initial phase of decay, the matrix stays intact and only some minerals are lost. In this early stage, the tooth can be remineralised with fluoride and minerals from your saliva. However, once the matrix (or the mesh) is damaged and lost, there is nowhere the minerals can bind to and therefore it can’t be “healed” or “grown back”.
MYTH: You shouldn’t touch bleeding gums. Often bleeding gums are caused by the accumulation of bacteria.
Your body is trying to fight the bacteria by increasing the blood flow to the area. The best way to remove the bacteria is by mechanical disruption via brushing and flossing. Yes, your gums will bleed initially for the first few days but the bleeding should improve once the bacteria have been cleaned off your teeth.
MYTH: You can whiten teeth using strawberries, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and even coke!
This has been a favourite topic of beauty magazines for years and now it has made its way to the social media. The opposite of this myth is true! When acidic substances are used long-term on your teeth they can dissolve your enamel away, making your teeth weaker, very sensitive and more yellow.
MYTH: You should only visit your dentist if something is hurting.
In dentistry, more often than not, pain is associated with the advanced stages of decay and gum disease that typically require complex treatment. Therefore it is important to have regular check-ups before small problems turn into big problems.
MYTH: Mouthwash blasts the plaque off your teeth so you can skip brushing and flossing.
A lot of us may remember the TV ads where the manufacturer of mouthwash products claimed it to “blast the plaque off your teeth”. Unfortunately, that statement is somewhat misleading.
Plaque is made from millions of bacteria that form a multi-layered biofilm on your teeth that can only be removed mechanically (via brushing and flossing). Mouthwash alone will only kill the top layer of bacteria, leaving the rest intact.
MYTH: Bad breath equals poor oral hygiene.
While poor oral hygiene can cause bad breath, it is not the only source of unpleasant odours emitting from your mouth. It can be coming from your stomach due to certain food and gastric reflux or it can be associated with respiratory tract infections.
If you’re ever unsure about anything you’ve read or heard be sure to ask one of our team—we’re not just here to fix your teeth, we’re here to help you prevent any problems from potentially poor advice.