Over the years, dentistry has evolved from an imprecise practice based on folk cures to a structured medical discipline that relies on science and technology.
Although modern dentistry has come a long way, there are still many dental myths that are passed on by word of mouth. Here is the truth about some common dental misconceptions:
Myth: If there is no visible problem with my teeth, I don't have to see a dentist.
Fact: Just because your teeth look healthy doesn't mean that it is a good idea to skip going to the dentist. You should visit your dentist twice a year for an exam and dental cleaning to make sure that your teeth stay healthy and that any dental problems are treated before they become serious.
Myth: My parents had good dental health so I don't really have to worry about mine.
Fact: Though genetics may play a small role in determining your dental health, it is mostly up to you to take good care of your teeth and gums to keep them healthy in the long term.
Myth: Brushing my teeth more than once a day can harm my enamel.
Fact: Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush to avoid being overly rough on gums and teeth. If you do so, you shouldn't run into any problems brushing twice a day or -- if possible -- after each meal.
Myth: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is just as effective as brushing.
Fact: While chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help clean your teeth and freshen your breath after meals, it is no replacement for thoroughly brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque and debris.
Myth: I shouldn't brush my teeth if my gums are bleeding.
Fact: Bleeding gums are often caused when dental plaque or food debris is not properly removed by regular brushing and flossing. If you notice that your gums become more prone to bleeding, it is a good idea to thoroughly and gently brush and floss them at least twice a day. If the bleeding continues, visit your dentist.