When it comes to one’s oral health care, there can be many interpretations about the “right” methods and routines. Just as some spout off what’s the best way someone can take care of his or her teeth and gums, there are also multiple oral health care myths. Below are some of the more common dental health myths and misconceptions:
Baby Teeth Aren’t Important
Yes, it is true that baby teeth will eventually fall out on their own when children are between six and 12 years of age. That doesn’t mean children should constantly consume sugary foods and drinks and have their oral hygiene take a back seat. Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, are important for a child to properly chew, bite and speak. When primary teeth aren’t adequately taken care of, they can become decayed and fall out prematurely and/or spread the decay to the permanent, adult teeth growing underneath.
I Don’t Need to Visit the Dentist When I Have My Own Oral Hygiene Routine
This is the common rationale for many patients that is often triggered and reinforced by the patient’s fear of the dentist. Yes, it is important to have a daily oral hygiene routine at home that entails two-minutes of brushing twice a day and daily flossing. However, even the best at-home oral hygiene routine can’t tackle the hardened, impossible to remove plaque. Only a dentist will have the tools to give a patient a much needed deep cleaning he or she can’t get at home. In addition, the trained eye of a dentist can spot possible oral health issues that the average patient would easily miss.
I Only Need to See the Dentist When Something is Wrong
This rationale is similar to that concerning the doctor’s office. It can be a time-consuming and expensive inconvenience to schedule a dental or doctor’s appointment. As a result, many dental patients only go in to see their dentist when an untreated or ignored oral health issue forces them to. While pain and discomfort are clear signs something isn’t right and needs the attention of a dentist, some oral health issues such as oral cancer don’t have readily noticeable, painful symptoms and are overlooked until it’s too late.
Everyone’s Wisdom Teeth Get Pulled
For many patients, getting one’s wisdom teeth pulled is seen as a right of passage into young adulthood. Are there any people who didn’t have their wisdom teeth pulled? The short answer is yes. While in the vast majority of cases the wisdom teeth must be pulled to ensure proper teeth growth and correct placement and alignment, there are a few patients whose mouths can accommodate four extra-large teeth.
Root Canals Are Painful and Horrible
One of the common reasons people dread visiting the dentist is the fear of needing a root canal. Over the years, root canals have gotten a bad rap and are now seen by patients as the dental procedure nightmares are made of.
Root canals, however, are routine procedures that involve little or no pain or discomfort. They are important in saving a tooth, which spares the patient from an unpleasant smile and from spending more money on necessary, future dental procedures. Regardless of how you look at them, they are necessary.
There are many myths and false ideas about dental health care out there. However, these common oral care myths can have a great negative effect on the health of your teeth and gums. It is always best to compliment your at-home oral hygiene routine with regular visits to the dentist every six months.