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  • By MTGW

Common Dental Misconceptions

What are some of the common dental misconceptions that you might heard and believed in?

Here are some of the common dental misconceptions that we would like to share with you.

1. Brush hard and using mouth rinse means healthy teeth.

In fact, brushing too hard will damage the teeth and gums. Constant vigorous brushing may cause gums sensitivity and receding gums, as well as wearing down the tooth enamel. So next time when you pick up a hard bristle toothbrush and think that "scrubbing" the teeth and gums will give you a healthier set of teeth, think twice.

There are types of mouth rinse (fluoride, antiseptic, etc) which serves a different purpose. If you are thinking that using mouth rinse is sufficient, then it is time for you to start your oral hygiene regimen right by starting to floss and brush your teeth. Using a mouth rinse should never be a substitute of flossing and teeth brushing. We will talk abit more on the types of mouth rinses in another blog post.

2. Teeth alignment treatment (braces and Invisalign) are only for children and young adults.

Braces and Invisalign treatment is not limited for children and young adults. Firstly, from a dentist's point of view, we need to understand the purpose of teeth alignment.

- Poor aligned teeth will allow food to stuck in the nooks and crannies between the teeth. As bacteria accumulated in these hard-to-reach areas, that forms plaque, this make it very challenging to brush the teeth and flossing. In long run, it may results in gum recession, gums inflammation and gum disease. And when left untreated, bone loss will occur which may results in tooth / teeth loss.

- Due to misaligned teeth, it may affect the forces on certain areas when biting down, which may cause wearing down of tooth enamel, toothache, temporomandicular joint disorders (TMJ), etc.

- Protruding teeth may pose a higher risk of teeth injuries.

- Because of the difficulty in brushing, one may have bad breath.

In view of the above reasons, one will have a better understanding of why teeth alignment treatment is not only for children and young adults.

3. Dental treatment is expensive.

Yes, dental treatment is expensive when one neglect his / her oral health, only except and not including aesthetic-related or injuries-related reasons.

Prevention is better than cure. Many times, the longer one delays on receiving treatment, the more extensive and expensive of the proposed treatment. As such, we will always emphasise the importance of seeing a dentist once every six months so that any dental issue can be nip in the bud.

4. One should see a dentist only when in pain.

It may be too late when one only see a dentist when he / she is in pain. In some instances, when one complains of wisdom tooth pain, it may be slightly difficult for the patient to feel the full effects of anaesthesia prior to the removal. As such, it is important and advisable to see a dentist every six months and take a full mouth Orthopantomogram, OPG (which provides a 2D view of your jaws and teeth) so as the dentist will be able to advise on the oral health issues at the early stage (such as dental cavities, tumors, positioning of the wisdom teeth, bone loss, cracked tooth and gum disease).

5. Dental implants and restorations (dental bridges, crowns and veneers) are only for elderly.

Tooth replacement treatment options such as dental implant and dental bridge are recommended in cases of tooth loss from traumatic injuries and / or removal of tooth as it is non salvageable.

Dental restorations such as dental crown and veneer could be recommended due to aesthetic reasons, and reasons such as after a root canal treatment or severe cracked tooth (dental crown) or chipped tooth (dental veneer).

6. Flossing will cause gums to bleed.

In fact, flossing daily is the cheapest and best way to clean between the teeth and beneath the gums. Flossing will reach area where toothbrush is not able to reach. Flossing correctly usually does not cause the gums to bleed. If the floss went too deep and cut into the gums, it will bleed.

However, if you still notice bleeding from the gums despite you have been flossing correctly, it could be due to gingivitis. Gingivitis is common and mild gum disease (which however, left untreated will develop into a more severe case of gum disease, Periodontitis), which can be treated with proper teeth brushing, flossing and use of antiseptic mouth rinse. In the event that the bleeding and inflammation does not resolves, you may want to pay a visit to a dentist to have a thorough check of your gums and teeth.

7. Only children are prone to tooth decay.

Children love sweets and chocolates, adults too! However, dental cavities are not necessary due to consumption of sweet foods. These are some of the causes of tooth decay:

- Poor oral hygiene. Inadequate teeth brushing and flossing.

- Medical conditions, such as dry mouth (Xerostomia). Dry mouth causes plaque to build up quicker and when the plaque remains on the teeth, in the long run, it will increase the risk of tooth cavities.

- Teeth brushing habits. Teeth are not flossed and brush properly (45 degrees angle to the gums).

For a better oral health, visit the dentist twice yearly.

8. Tooth loss is normal for elderly.

This is a common myth. Some causes of tooth loss includes accident, trauma, gum disease, medical condition and lack of oral hygiene care. These instances does not just happen to elderly, it can happen to anyone. With proper taking care of oral health and visiting the dentist regularly, the teeth can last you for a lifetime!

9. There is no connection between oral and health.

There is a saying that your mouth is the window to the overall health. There are many scientific studies that indicated a connection between the oral health and overall physical health, that is to say, having a good oral health could reduce the risk of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular (heart), premature birth, diabetes, etc.

Prevention is better than cure. Visit your dentist and you will be in for a surprise what the dentist can reveal to you on your overall health.

10. Dental scaling will weaken the natural tooth structure.

Enamel erosion can happen when the enamel of the teeth is wear away by acids. Some of the causes includes, excessive consumption of acidic fruit juice and soft drinks, acid reflux condition, frequent vomiting (from bulimia condition), genetics, etc.

In order to prevent the loss of enamel, you may want to minimise the consumption of acidic food and drinks and to rinse your mouth with water each time after eating. Using a straw while consuming fruit juice and acidic drinks, does help too. To have an overall healthy oral hygiene, visit a dentist once every six months.

Have a question for our dentist? Click here to get in touch with him.

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