Most people grow up believing certain myths about dental checkups. Online information can also be misleading when it comes to dental healthcare. As innovations in dental health continue to surface, most of these falsities are debunked. Below are some of the common dental checkup myths and the truth behind each of them.
Myth #1: Brushing hard means cleaner teeth
Fact: Firm or medium-bristled toothbrushes are often in high demand. Even so, these hard bristles can erode the hard enamel that protects teeth and recede the gums. People brush as hard as possible, not knowing that layers of protection disappear. Hard bristles also tend to push particles in between teeth and pockets of gums. Using a toothbrush with soft bristles is better.
Myth #2: Brushing well before a dental checkup will indicate good oral hygiene
Fact: Patients cannot hide the truth from any dentist. Those who have not been practicing good dental care will start experiencing the effects. Plaque, dental calculus, cavities, and periodontitis will have surfaced by the next dental appointment. Even if the patient brushes and flosses several times the day before the checkup, the dentist will find out about the neglect.
Myth#3: If there is no pain or swelling, the patient does not need a dental checkup
Fact: Dental problems usually take a while to surface. To prevent unsavory surprises, people should always have dental checkups. If the dentist says that there are no dental issues, dental exams make sure that teeth and gums are in good condition. Dentists can treat small cavities right away to keep them from worsening.
Myth #4: A severely decayed tooth just needs an extraction
Fact: While it seems practical for some to have the dentist remove this kind of tooth, the dentist might disagree. Modern dental practices have techniques that can save even the most damaged tooth. A dental checkup can save that tooth. All a patient needs is a skillful and experienced dentist.
Myth #5: Female and male patients have the same dental needs
Fact: While it is true that men and women need to brush and floss regularly, hormones set them apart. Women are more at risk of developing infection and gingivitis because of their menstrual cycle. Their hormone levels boost up and then fall over and over. Dental checkups can help women prevent gingivitis during menstruation.
Myth #6: Having silver fillings is not risky at all
Fact: Also known as dental amalgam, silver fillings are made of various types of metal. One of the metals is mercury, which can be toxic. The U.S. FDA says that dental amalgam is safe for adults and children. Some patients are sensitive to other metals like copper and tin. Dentists have to use another type of dental filling.
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