I’m not the guy to go to for celebrity gossip; there’s too much to keep track of: too many names, too many husbands; too many boyfriends. So, like anything else, I stick to what I know. And what I do know, and what you’ll hear emphasized here blog repeatedly, is the importance of oral health.
This week we’ll look at common mistakes people make in their approach to oral health. These mistakes are easily made, because, like me with the star gossip, being well-versed in oral health likely isn’t your thing. You probably know the basics and that’s it: brush; floss sometimes; and go see Dr. Pasha when you’re in pain. Friends, it can be so much better! Let’s use the info below to help improve your daily approach to oral care.
1. There’s no right way to floss
Contrary to popular thought, there IS a right way to floss. Click here for tips on flossing best practice.
2. If my gums bleed, I should stop flossing
In truth your gums likely bleed because you don’t floss often enough. Poor technique along with an irregular flossing schedule makes it more likely that your gums will bleed. Try flossing regularly (daily if you can), and make sure to visit me two times a year.
3. Once I’ve had a filling put on a tooth it won’t get cavities again
There’s always a risk that you can develop a cavity on a tooth with a filling, especially if the filling isn’t cleaned properly or you grind your teeth at night. See this insight article for more information.
4. I can only get cavities by eating candy
I’m afraid not. Acids are just as bad as sugar for causing cavities in your teeth. Your teeth are at particular risk when you consume things like pop, which is high in sugar and very acidic. Time to reconsider that Diet Coke habit!
5. My teeth don’t hurt, which means they’re ok
For this one, I say Yes and No, but mostly No. Most cavities aren’t painful until they reach an advanced stage. Dental pain usually indicates a problem ignored for too long, which is why I recommend a preventative approach that includes regular check up appointments.
6. All wisdom teeth need to be removed
Not the case. Only wisdom teeth that cause food traps or don’t have enough room to grow should be removed. Your dentist can let you know if your wisdom teeth are in a position to cause trouble down the road.
7. Tooth sensitivity is normal
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem, but it isn’t a normal problem. In the mouth, it could indicate an underlying issue in the teeth. If you’re experiencing prolonged sensitivity, please make an appointment with me so I can check the sensitive area to make sure there are no larger problems.
8. Cavities are genetic
Cavities aren’t genetic, they’re a result of bad habits like heavy consumption of sugar and acids and not cleaning your teeth properly. You may LEARN some of these habits from your parents, thus the problems may SEEM genetic, but in general this is not the case. See my daily dental care insight article on taking care of baby teeth for more info on what sugar can do to your mouth.
9. You can only wear braces in your teens and twenties
Adults of all ages can wear braces. Let’s be fair, though: your teeth won’t shift in your mouth as quickly when you’re 55 as when you’re 16, but you can still enjoy good results with braces later in life.
10. Cigars aren’t as bad as cigarettes
I could come at this argument from a hundred different angles, but I’m a dentist, so you know which way I’ll go. Smoking cigars is potentially worse for you than cigarettes. Cigars dramatically increase the risk of oral cancer and create severe problems in the gums. You may not be inhaling smoke, but you are increasing the amount of carcinogens in your mouth significantly, which is a very serious thing.