Once again, and for no specific reason whatsoever, we thought we’d share with you a selection of our favourite dental urban legends. Of which, as you probably know by now, there are quite a lot! In fact, many of the apparent pearls of wisdom people seem to think they know about dental health and hygiene in general really couldn’t be further from the mark.
In most instances, learning the truth about these kinds of urban legends can actually make the subject of dental health and dentistry far less daunting. So rather than convincing yourself that any of the following have any shred of truth to them, you might want to educate yourself as to the respective facts behind them!
Dental Cleanings Cause Tooth Sensitivity
First and foremost, quite a lot of people genuinely believe that professional dental cleanings can cause or intensify tooth sensitivity. When a dentist uses a professional electric toothbrush and all manner of other bits and pieces, it is assumed that they can actually make sensitivity worse than before. Or cause problems where they didn’t exist previously. In reality, this just isn’t the case at all. If it was true to say that dental cleanings caused sensitivity, it’s not as if dentists would be foolish enough to carry them out. Particularly on those who already have sensitive teeth. The simple fact of the matter therefore being that if your dentist is responsible and carries out professional cleanings as part and parcel of their services, you don’t have to worry about sensitivity.
Root Canals Are Extremely Painful
Contrary to popular belief, the moment you sit down for a root canal surgery is the moment you will actually feel relief from the pain you are suffering. Root canals are carried out when decay or infection becomes dangerously advanced – by which time you will probably find yourself in absolute agony. During the process itself, it is more common than not to feel absolutely no pain or discomfort whatsoever. The vast majority of people who go to responsible dentists these days for these kinds of procedures usually come away completely gobsmacked as to how pleasant the whole thing can be. So next time someone tries to tell you that these kinds of procedures are the stuff of nightmares, feel free to correct them!
Coca-Cola Dissolves Teeth
This one is no less than brilliant – a long standing myth that if you place a tooth in a measure of Coke, it will dissolve within 24 hours. In reality, this is complete and utter nonsense. The simple fact of the matter being that while it’s perfectly possible for sugary soft drinks to cause severe damage to your teeth, there isn’t a soft drink on the face of the earth that can dissolve teeth within a short period of time. It just isn’t going to happen. Not that this gives you the green light to drink as much sugary pop as you like, but more a case of illustrating just how ridiculous so many of these urban legends really are.
Brushing before going to the dentist will fool him/her
It’s the kind of thing we start doing as kids and for some reason continue right into our adult lives. Reaching for the electric toothbrush and water flosser, giving our mouths an intensive clean and hoping that the dentist will not notice that we haven’t exactly been keeping up with regular brushing and oral health in general since the last visit. In reality, your dentist will be able to tell within about 3 seconds if this is the case. So while it’s definitely advisable to give your mouth a good clean before each dental check-up, there really is no point trying to fool them into thinking you’ve been meticulous with your oral health and hygiene, if you really haven’t!
If your gums are bleeding, you should avoid brushing and flossing
In fact, it’s the exact opposite that’s true. If you notice blood on your toothbrush or can visibly see your gums bleeding from time to time, this essentially means that you probably should be paying even closer attention to your oral health and hygiene. Bleeding gums are a tell-tale sign of gum disease and a wide variety of other common oral health issues – the vast majority of which can be brought under control with better everyday hygiene. As such, under no circumstances should you ever interpret bleeding gums as a sign then you should avoid brushing and flossing.
The more you brush your teeth, the healthier they will be
Unfortunately, this is the kind of misleading ‘logic’ that can steer you in entirely the wrong direction. The long and short of it being that if you brush your teeth more than 2 to 3 times a day, the abrasive action and the properties within the toothbrush itself can actually do more harm than good. Which is precisely why dentists across the board recommend regular use of mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum, as a means by which to keep your mouth healthy and happy throughout the day. Brush on a regular basis, but don’t get carried away.
Electric toothbrushes are no better than regular brushes
Wrong! Every dentist on the face of the earth and every scientific study alike will tell you the same thing – a high quality electric toothbrush can get the job done exponentially better than a manual toothbrush. Of course, it all comes down to ensuring you select a high quality electric toothbrush in the first place and use it properly. Nevertheless, you stand to take your oral health and hygiene an important step further by upgrading to a high-quality electric brush.
All teeth can be whitened effectively if you’re persistent enough
Last but not least, the sad truth is that all teeth cannot be whitened effectively – regardless of how persistent you may be. In some instances, certain people simply aren’t candidates for teeth whitening and will find that their efforts go entirely to waste. Which is precisely why it is a good idea to speak to your dentist for advice, before going ahead with any approach to teeth whitening whatsoever.