4 Dental Myths

Dental_HealthDespite the fact that we use our mouths every day to eat, speak and smile, many of us have not been taught the basic facts surrounding dental health. Sometimes it is hard for us to evaluate the information about our teeth and gums that we might encounter on the Internet, or in casual conversations. To help correct this, here are four dental myths that you may have heard, and the data to support what dental health professionals have found to be the truth.

4 Dental Health Myths

  1. An aspirin placed next to a tooth will cure a toothache. More than likely, if you follow the advice of this myth, you’ll get more pain, not less. The acid in an aspirin tablet can irritate your gums and erode your tooth’s enamel. (If you can tolerate aspirin well, it’s OK to swallow it for pain relief!)
  2. Fluoride is a dangerous toxin. There have been numerous studies published over the past 60 years documenting the fact that fluoridating public water supplies reduces tooth decay, with a low incidence of negative side effects. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, and as with many other such elements, the proper dose makes the medicine. The amount consumed by those drinking fluoridated water and using toothpaste containing fluoride is considered safe.
  3. It’s possible to be too young for dentures. Tooth loss can start at any age. American adults age 20 to 64 have an average of 24 or 25 remaining teeth (out of an original set of 32!), and nearly four percent of adults in that age group have lost all their teeth. If you’ve lost more than a few teeth, it’s important to be fitted with dentures, a bridge or implants, as your remaining teeth will be working harder, increasing the chances you’ll lose even more teeth.
  4. Brushing and flossing your teeth don’t matter. The statistics are shocking – 50 percent of Americans surveyed admit not flossing their teeth daily, and 20 percent don’t brush daily. Our teeth aren’t self-cleaning, and the consequences of not brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day can include advanced gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth loss, as well as aggravating systemic health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease.

“The guidelines for dental health are simple, but they aren’t always obvious,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a central Phoenix-based cosmetic dentist. “Having accurate information about your teeth and gums can help a lot.”

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