As we’ve grown up and spent time learning about our oral health, there are a number of misconceptions that we’ve likely been taught. From old wive’s tales to simple misunderstandings, there’s a lot of reasons that dental myths have come to pass. In the manner of urban legends about candy tampering at Halloween, they’ve grown and flourished with the retelling. We wanted to help nip some of these old myths in the bud to help our readers develop a more fact-based relationship with their dental health. Some of these myths have a root in truth, while others just need to be extracted entirely.
Sugar Causes Cavities
This is one myth that lives in the land of the half-truth. This may be part of the reason it’s so persistent and difficult to root out. Sugar does not cause cavities, but it does provide an abundant food source for the bacteria that live on and around our teeth. Without being rinsed or brushed away, it provides them with everything they need to produce the acids that cause decay and reproduce. You can eat and drink sugary foods if you want; just be sure to brush and rinse afterward.
Flossing Is Optional
While only 20% of all Americans floss, this isn’t a part of your dental health routine that should be skipped. Even among those that do floss, 40% aren’t consistent about it, and this can lead directly to tooth decay. Remember, those bacteria are just as capable of producing decay between your teeth as on the parts that are visible.
Why Brush When You Can Chew Gum?
This is another one of the many myths that are a half-truth. Chewing gum, sugar-free in particular, can actually be a great between brushing aid to keeping your teeth fresh and clean. It helps to collect debris and even collect loose plaque, but it won’t get rid of everything. It’s also not capable of defeating bacteria or getting stubborn tartar off your teeth. So, by all means, continue chewing gum to help your dental health, but do keep brushing and flossing as well.
Baby Teeth Aren’t Important To Adult Dental Health
This is an unfortunate falsehood that gets spread around a lot. Your baby teeth have an important role to play in the development of your adult smile. They help to ensure proper spacing and to guide adult teeth into their final positions without misalignment. Each year it becomes increasingly evident how important your first teeth are to the smile that will last you a lifetime.
Want to debunk more dental myths by becoming educated about oral health? We at Sweetbay Family Dentistry are dedicated to ensuring that all of our patients are educated with the facts about their dental care. REQUEST APPOINTMENT with Dr. Jennifer Yau or Dr. Lawrence Hand today to get the pediatric dental care that will protect your teeth for years to come. We look forward to seeing you at our office in Pasadena, MD, and welcoming you to our patient family.