Google, home remedies, and rumors all contribute to popular conceptions about dental health, but remember that if you have any questions, your dentist is always an accurate source. Here are a few examples of factual and false statements about oral health to help you keep your facts straight!
“Placing aspirin next to a tooth relieves discomfort when you have a toothache.”
MYTH. Placing an aspirin pill directly on the gums can cause an ulceration of the tissue, also known as aspirin burn. When taken as directed, aspirin can be an effective pain reliever and can be used to help with the discomfort of a toothache until you can get in to see your dentist. Remember, no home remedy or quick fix can replace the care and treatment you can get from your professional dental care provider. The best thing to do to fix a toothache is to make an appointment with your dentist.
“Sugars found in pop are more harmful to your teeth than natural sugars found in juice.”
MYTH. All sugars can be harmful to your dental health because cavity causing bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid that attack tooth enamel. Sugary foods and drinks are okay every now and then, but it is important that you try to maintain a diet that is low in sugar and limit between meal snacking.
“Bad breath can be a sign of a medical disorder.”
FACT. Bad breath can be a symptom of various medical issues, including sinus infections, bronchitis, diabetes, lung infections, and some liver and kidney diseases. Most bad breath goes away with oral hygiene and consistent brushing and flossing. However, if your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your primary physician to consider the other possible causes of bad breath.
“White teeth are healthy teeth.”
MYTH. Keep in mind that bleach trays and other whiteners do not clean teeth. Regular and consistent brushing, flossing, and attending dental appointments are the only things that can guarantee a healthy smile.
“You should change your toothbrush out about every three months.”
FACT. Studies show that after a few months, toothbrushes become less effective at removing plaque from your gums and teeth. Also, after brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water and place it out in open air to dry. Do not immediately place it in a plastic toothbrush case or travel cover, as it provides perfect grounds to grow bacteria and other germs.