MYTHS IN DENTISTRY
There are many misconceptions about what it takes to keep your teeth healthy, it may be regarding brushing, flossing, or any eating habits related to children and adults. It just takes a few minutes a day to keep healthy oral hygiene. But some wrong practices may leave certain irreversible damage, which makes it really important for us to bust such myths.
#Myth: Brushing harder and longer keeps your teeth cleaner and whiter.
#Fact: Brushing too hard or using an abrasive toothbrush will only leave your enamel eroded. Eroded enamel will cause sensitivity as the underlying dentin will be exposed. Sometimes might also involve the pulp eventually leading to discomfort and pain, if the practice is not discontinued. Not only tooth structure but the gums will also be adversely affected. Some people have a habit of using tooth powders. This will also erode the teeth. Moreover, erosion of enamel leads to exposure of the second layer of tooth, which is called Dentin. Dentin is inherently yellow in colour which will make your teeth look darker.
So proper brushing techniques like brushing with light pressure and in a circular motion will clean your teeth and gums without damaging the teeth and gums.
#Myth: Toothbrushes need not be changed till the bristles wear off.
#Fact: Don’t trust appearance too much. Even if your toothbrush looks good, it might have been stored improperly and thus filled with bacteria. Also, if you’ve used your toothbrush regularly, it’s not very likely that the bristles are in perfect condition. So make it a habit to change your toothbrush or brush head (in case of electronic brushes) every 3 months. More often replacements (every 2 months) are recommended if you have gum disease. And last but not least: Don’t forget to change it after you’ve been sick, especially after being affected with Covid-19 you should immediately change the brush and tongue cleaner and make sure no one else comes in contact with it.
#Myth: Dentists are commercial and dental treatments are expensive- a misnomer
#Fact: No longer true as good clinics revolve around values based on Trust, Respect & Integrity coupled with conducting business and delivering healthcare ethically to its patients. Dentists charge a nominal consultation fee, which is a genuine amount as the doctor too will incur expenditure on disposables etc. which cost money. Depending on an individual’s capacity to pay, EMI options are offered for hi-value cases. Products which are branded will have credibility and have a better life and warranty.
#Myth: Teeth cleaning/ scaling and polishing will abrade the enamel and cause sensitivity issues.
#Fact: This is the most common misconception that we often face. Scaling/polishing is a procedure that we advise our patients to undergo every 6 months. This removes the accumulated plaque and calculus which causes gingival inflammation leading to bleeding gums and mobile teeth. Sometimes a deep scaling is required in certain conditions where the calculus is attached deep down in the gums which cannot be removed easily. So, scaling and polishing do only good to the patient especially those suffering from gingival diseases. Sensitivity is not caused due to teeth cleaning. The longer one goes without scaling the more plaque/calculus accumulation occurs and this will eventually lead to weakening of tooth.
#Myth: Braces are only meant for the younger people.
#Fact: Well, dentistry has come quite a long way. So be happy if you are in your 30s or 40s, we can still fix your crooked and mal-aligned teeth and deliver a beautiful smile to you. Orthodontists are adept at rectifying your teeth by recommending braces (metallic or ceramic, invisible aligners, etc., custom made for each case).
#Myth: If your gums bleed when you floss, it’s best to leave them alone.
#Fact: The reason our gums bleed is due to inflammation. Often it happens when bacteria and plaque get stuck in between our teeth where toothbrush bristles don’t reach properly. Over time the built-up tartar causes the gums to become inflamed. Bleeding is part of that process. If you floss once a month (or just before going to the dentist), it’s likely you’ll notice your gums bleeding. Make flossing your daily habit, and the bleeding will go away with time.
#Myth: If nothing is bothering you, you don’t need a dental check-up.
#Fact: With a lot of dental issues, you don’t necessarily feel pain right away. We have to explain to patients and educate them that with cavities and gum disease you don’t always feel it. The problem is once the symptoms appear, it’s often a bigger issue. If you wait until a cavity hurts to get it checked out, you could end up needing a root canal or an extraction that could have been prevented with regular check-up. The point of going to the dentist is so we can prevent things from happening to the teeth to protect them and notice things before they become an issue.