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Five Dental Myths

Is what you've heard about dental care true? Let's set the record straight?

Dental Myth #1

"There's no need to brush your baby's teeth."

That's simply not true. Babies can get cavities just like adults. In fact, many baby foods are fruit-based, which can leave a sticky residue on the teeth. This can lead to tooth decay. Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, they play an important role: they hold a place for our permanent teeth. Start your baby on the path to good oral health by using a wet washcloth on his or her gums, then graduate to a soft toothbrush when the teeth come in.

Dental Myth #2

"Bad breath means you're not brushing correctly."

This is not necessarily true. Bad breath comes from three places: your mouth, your nose, and your stomach. If you have ever eaten garlic, the scent you smell afterwards comes from your stomach. When you have a drippy sinus, this can also cause an odor. Tongue hygiene can also play an important role. So, it's not necessarily the brushing that's at fault. It is still important to brush at least two times a day and floss at least once to keep your mouth smelling clean and fresh.

Dental Myth #3

"Brushing causes gums to bleed!"

This is not true. If your gums are bleeding, that's a sign of periodontal disease. See a periodontist or your dentist. Be more attentive to brushing and flossing. Consider using an oral rinse and incorporating an oral hygiene tool such as a power toothbrush to improve oral care.

Dental Myth #4

"Placing an aspirin on a tooth helps with the pain of a toothache."

This will not work. Aspirin is actually acetyl salicylic acid, which is derived from salicylic acid - the ingredient used to burn off warts. Think of what it does to warts, then imagine what damage it can do to your teeth. Aspirin on a tooth is also in contact with the inside of the cheek. This can cause the cheek tissue and the gums to get burned. So don't put an aspirin directly on the tooth.

Dental Myth #5

"Only sugar is bad for your teeth."

Sugar helps cause cavities, but do you know what else damages your teeth? Anything that's acidic. This includes citrus juices, fruits, sodas, sports drinks, and vinegar-based products. They can soften and weaken the protective enamel on teeth. If you choose to have acidic drink or foods, consider rinsing your mouth with water afterwards.

Fact vs. Myth

Living in this day and age, with so much information available, it can be difficult to determine what is myth and what is fact. You may search the internet to get more information about common dental myths, but do make sure to only consider information that comes from a credible source, like the American Dental Association or your Dentist.