As a family dentist, we welcome questions from our patients because we believe that an informed patient is a healthier patient. During routine dental exams, we hear many questions that are based on oral health myths. The challenge with these myths is that they can be dangerous. For example, some people drink more diet soda because it is sugar-free, and they think it is safe for their teeth. The truth is that soda is full of acid, and acid can lead to enamel erosion. This makes it important to avoid drinking too much soda and rinsing your mouth afterward when you do. With that in mind, here are a few common myths we hear and our answers to them.
Myth – Adults are unlikely to get cavities.
It does not matter how old you are. Everyone is susceptible to getting cavities. Even babies and seniors get them. The best way to protect yourself is to brush and floss throughout the day and visit our family dentist office twice a year for a teeth cleaning.
Myth – Lemons are good for whitening teeth.
Lemons can brighten your teeth, but it is dangerous to do so because lemons are acidic. Acid can lead to enamel erosion and permanent sensitivity. It is unwise to put anything acidic onto your teeth, and since we offer a safe and effective whitening treatment, there is no need for you to do so. To learn more about our whitening treatment, schedule an appointment with our family dentist office.
Myth – Only older men get oral cancer.
Certainly, men over the age of fifty have the greatest risk of getting oral cancer, but they are not the only ones. Both men and women of all ages can get cancer. In fact, one of the growing causes of the condition is the HPV virus. If you have been diagnosed with it, you need to be screened on a regular basis. In fact, it is a good idea for all adults to be screened annually. You can also watch for signs at home, such as hard lumps in your mouth or throat, red and white bumps, or rough patches that do not go away.
Myth – Baby teeth do not matter since they will fall out anyway.
It is common for parents to think that their young child does not need to practice the same oral hygiene that they do. The truth is that baby teeth can get cavities just like adult teeth can, and if they do, the discomfort can be difficult for a child. Additionally, baby teeth make it possible to smile with confidence, speak clearly, and eat. They also hold a spot for the adult teeth that will eventually grow in. If they fall out too early, the remaining teeth can crowd that position and make it so that the child needs braces in the future. You can prevent this by brushing and flossing your children’s teeth and having them professionally cleaned twice per year.
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