Several centuries ago, many cultures believed in something called the “tooth worm.” They believed that all dental problems were caused by a worm making its way into your mouth and wreaking havoc. This idea sounds gross and ridiculous today, but scientists took this idea as gospel for hundreds of years. Thankfully, your dentist in Medford doesn’t believe in the tooth worm. However, there are a lot of dental myths floating around out there. Let’s debunk 5 of them.
1. Tooth Whitening Is Dangerous
Your teeth can still be perfectly healthy even if they are discolored. However, most of us want a brightly shining smile. A common myth about tooth whitening is that it can damage your tooth enamel, making your teeth more sensitive. While sensitivity is fairly common right after a whitening treatment, it should only be temporary. Professional whitening treatments from your dentist are always going to be safe for your teeth.
2. White Teeth Are Always Healthy Teeth
Even if your teeth are perfectly white, they can still have underlying problems like cavities and infections. For example, white spots on teeth might be a sign of plaque buildup, but if your teeth are already white, it may be hard to notice this issue. This is why it’s important to visit your dentist for checkups even if your pearly whites are as bright as can be.
3. Place Aspirin Directly on an Aching Tooth
There’s a popular myth out there claiming that allowing an aspirin to dissolve between your cheek and gums will cure a toothache. In actuality, this is about as effective as placing an aspirin on your head to cure a headache. Aspirin works best when absorbed into your bloodstream through your digestive system. If you have a toothache, take an over the counter pain reliever and call your dentist right away.
4. Brushing Your Gums Makes Them Bleed
If you see blood on your toothbrush or in the sink after brushing, that’s not normal. It’s a common sign of gingivitis, or the early stage of gum disease. As long as you see your dentist as soon as possible, you can get it treated easily with improve oral hygiene and possibly a round of antibiotics.
5. More Sugar Means More Cavities
This myth has really stood the test of time. It’s actually not the quantity of sugar you consume that affects how many cavities you get. It’s how long the sugar is allowed to remain on your teeth. When sugar stays for even a few hours, bacteria break down the sugar into acid that causes cavities. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth after eating sweets.
Hopefully this cleared up some of the dental myths out there. One thing that’s not a myth, though, is that you should see your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning, no matter how healthy you think your teeth are.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino has provided his patients in the Medford, MA area with quality care since 1993. He and his team make everyone who walks through the doors of his practice feel warm and welcome. To book your next cleaning with Dr. Giamberardino, click here or call (781) 396-3800.