Debunking Dental Myths
When it comes to your teeth, you have probably gotten a lot of advice over the years. Some of may be good, (brush twice a day and floss regularly), and some of it, well, may not be so good.
The experts at Charles River Dental decided to set the record straight whether it’s true or not. Below are three common dental myths that may be harming your oral health.
Myth #1: I don’t have any cavities so my mouth is healthy.
If you believe this statement, you could be in for a big surprise. The truth is preserving your oral health is about more than cavity prevention. Your teeth aren’t the only element in your mouth that needs protecting. Your gums are equally important and the fact is that most people aren’t doing a very good job at keeping them in top shape.
FACTS: Many Americans have some kind of gum disease, and if allowed to progress, gum problems can not only become painful, but may ultimately lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
Statistics show that failing to brush or floss regularly isn’t the only risk factor for gum disease. Other factors, like smoking, diet and even genes can increase your risk! Be on alert for early warning signs of gum disease, such as tender or swollen gums that bleed easily when flossing or brushing. If you notice these symptoms, don’t stress. Some practices can actually reverse the impact of the disease just through regular visits and changing routine.
“I have had patients come in with bleeding gums from just tooth brushing, once they learn what they can do to stop it, and they maintain that routine, they see results within a few days,” says Frances Casanova, a dental hygienist at Boston’s Charles River Dental. “Having regular hygiene appointments makes a huge difference, keep with the intervals set by your hygienist.”
Myth #2: Poor dental hygiene only affects my teeth
Oral health is about far more than your mouth. The truth is that problems with your gums and teeth can affect the rest of your body as well, raising your risk for everything from heart disease to cancer.
FACTS: Bacteria that start off in your mouth can actually slip into your bloodstream where it triggers inflammation in your body that can lead to conditions such as heart disease, certain types of cancer and stroke, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Expecting? Dental problems can also raise your risk of delivering your baby too soon. If you have diabetes, the risks may be even higher. Not only can your diabetes raise the likelihood of dental problems, but dental problems can also make it harder for you to stay healthy with your disease. Poor oral health has also been tied to other conditions, such as respiratory infections. Protecting your oral health does more than protect your mouth.
Myth #3: Whitening is bad for your teeth
You don’t have to feel guilty about wanting a whiter, more beautiful smile. Contrary to what you might have heard, the whitening process won’t harm your teeth. The whitening solution penetrates into your tooth and thus helps it glisten from the inside out. It does not affect the enamel or increase risk for infection.
“Many of our patients are surprised how their teeth can be so cosmetically affected [by whitening] while still maintaining full comfort and function,” says Dr. Mark Sivers, owner of Charles River Dental. “Whitening is the easiest procedure to produce dramatic, immediate results!”
FACTS: The whitening process is safe because it is limited to your mouth, and the chemicals are not harsh enough to cause harm to your body. If you want to brighten your smile you can do so with confidence. The multi-specialist professionals at Charles River Dental offer many teeth whitening options, ranging from ZOOM! in-office treatments to custom at-home whitening trays, all of which have proven safe by research studies.
When in doubt – get the facts. It’s important to separate fiction from fact, especially regarding your health. Understanding dental myths can help you ensure that your oral hygiene efforts stay on target and that you protect your teeth and mouth for the long term.
Want to learn more? Call Charles River Dental at 617-671-0052.This is a paid partnership between charles-river-dental and Boston Magazine's City/Studio