The Dental Myths

Myth - Removal of upper teeth affects vision.
Fact - There is a myth among many people that removal of the upper teeth affects vision. This is a misconception. Vision is not affected in any way by undertaking treatment of the upper teeth including its extraction.

- Once a decayed tooth is treated the dental problem is over.
Fact - Dental decay is treated by use of various restorative materials. However the artificial material usually will not completely match the tooth in strength, color, smoothness and other qualities.
In addition if the patient does not maintain good hygiene, decay can start again around restorations. Hence, whenever a tooth is filled or replaced it requires use of additional cleaning methods like flossing, interdental brushes, etc, in addition to regular tooth brushing.

Myth - Professional cleaning/scaling/removal of tartar loosens the teeth.
- Teeth are held firmly by the supporting tissues of the periodontium including bone. Bad oral hygiene results in the deposition of tartar /calculus on the tooth surface. These deposits irritate the gums and can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If the tartar is not removed, the gums may recede and the supporting bone around the teeth gets destroyed. The tartar on the teeth thus causes great harm to the supporting tissues of the teeth. However, patients may experience slight mobility of the teeth after tartar is removed as it kind of binds the teeth together. Professional cleaning removes this tartar and arrests further destruction of supporting bone. Removal of tartar deposits only helps to recover the health of supporting structures. This chain of events does not take place in people who have dental checkup regularly.

Myth- Dental procedures are always painful.
Fact - Most dental procedures are carried out under local anesthesia, which makes the procedures totally painless. In addition the modern day high-speed drills cause less vibrations and are more comfortable for the patients.

Myth - Dental treatment should be avoided during pregnancy.
Fact - The above notion is not true. Many a times dental treatment is provided even during late pregnancy. Routine dental procedures can be carried out without any fear. However, major surgical procedure may require medical opinion before treatment. Dental X-rays are to be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy.

Myth - Thumb sucking by children leads to forward placement of upper teeth.
Fact - Thumb sucking is a normal infant habit, which makes the child feel secure and happy. It usually decreases after the age of 3 years. However, if the habit persists beyond the age of 4-5 years it can cause problems of the teeth including forward placement of the teeth. In these children, depending upon the frequency and severity of the habit an intervention of the habit by a dental surgeon may be required.

Myth - A child never needs cleaning of milk teeth.
Fact - It is a myth that we need not clean a child's teeth. Children are as much prone for dental decay or gum diseases as adults. In fact children tend to have sweet food including sweetened milk and juices which can promote dental caries. So it is advisable to start the habit of cleaning the infant's teeth soon after they appear in the mouth. In fact it is advised to clean baby’s gum pads everyday by gentle massage even before the teeth erupt.

Myth - Milk teeth need not be cared for because they last only for a few years, and will anyway be replaced by permanent teeth.
Fact - Early loss of milk teeth will interfere with chewing and affect the child’s nutrition. Early loss of milk teeth leads to drifting of the adjacent teeth and closure of some of the space that is required for the succeeding permanent teeth to erupt into. Such a loss of space will cause the permanent teeth to erupt in irregular position and result in crowding. Therefore milk teeth need to be cared for as much as permanent teeth.

Myth - When the gums bleed, it is better not to brush the teeth.
Fact -Bleeding of gums is a sign that they are inflamed and are not healthy. This usually is a result of plaque and food particles accumulating around the teeth. Until this collection is removed, the gums continue to bleed. This is an indication that the individual needs to visit a dentist for opinion and treatment. Brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush by the proper technique removes the plaque and helps the gums recover. Initial bleeding seen during brushing gradually reduces over a period of time.

Myth - Dental procedures are painful.
Fact - Sadly, this common misconception keeps plenty of patients from keeping their dental appointments. If you're nervous about visiting the dentist, remember that dental procedures and technologies have greatly improved over the years. Dentistry today offers new methods and treatments to help you feel comfortable. Don't let fear keep you from the dentist's chair.

Myth - Periodontal disease doesn't affect the rest of my body.
Fact - Unfortunately, periodontal (or gum) disease is so common that nearly 80 percent of Americans have it. The bacteria in periodontal disease may cause blood clots, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke. And periodontal disease definitely puts you at risk for tooth loss, which has been associated with cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control.

Myth - Whitening toothpaste have the ability to remove the inner stains of the tooth.
Fact - Most whitening toothpastes don't work like you probably expect them to. Instead, they're good for removing surface stains caused by foods and drinks, like coffee and tea. If you're looking to really brighten your smile, you have to bleach the inner tooth structures, which can only be accomplished with whitening strips, laser bleaching or whitening gels used with a mouth guard. Talk with your dentist to find out which option is the best one for you.

Myth – You can get a sufficient amount of fluoride by drinking water.
Fact - If most of the water you drink is filtered or bottled, you are probably not getting enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Most bottled waters contain less than half the recommended concentration of fluoride and many home filtration systems strip nearly all fluoride out of the water. Look for waters that list fluoride on their label. If you're concerned about whether you are receiving enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay, speak with your dentist.