Dental care can be an easy issue to let fall by the wayside. The busyness of life can make it difficult to remember to take proper care of your teeth. However, even people who do make dental care a priority may unwittingly be making mistakes due to widespread myths about how to best take care of one’s teeth.
Myth # 1: A Stiff Toothbrush is Better for Your Teeth
You might think that a toothbrush with hard, stiff bristles will necessarily do a better job of removing debris, food particles and plaque from your teeth. After all, stiff bristles mean more scrubbing power, right? In reality, however, stiff-bristled toothbrushes can actually damage the enamel on your teeth, increasing your vulnerability to potentially serious dental health problems. Most dentists recommend that you use a toothbrush with soft or medium bristles instead.
Myth # 2: You Should Always Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
It is true that many people eventually experience jaw pain and other problems from their wisdom teeth. However, if you do not experience any problems when your wisdom teeth grow in, there is generally no need to have them removed.
Myth # 3: Taking Care of Children’s Baby Teeth is Unnecessary
Some parents think that regular brushing, visits to the dentists and similar dental care strategies are unnecessary for young children, since they will eventually lose their baby teeth anyway. However, this is actually not true for two primary reasons. First, even though your children will lose their baby teeth naturally, poor dental hygiene can lead to health problems that cause the teeth to fall out too soon. This can also cause their permanent adult teeth to grow in incorrectly. Second, if you do not take the time to help your children establish good dental health habits while they are young, they will have difficulty learning to take good care of their teeth when they grow older.
Myth # 4: Your Parents’ Good Dental Health Always Means That You Will Not Have Dental Problems
Specialists’ opinions vary regarding how significant of a role genetics play in determining your vulnerability to dental health problems. What most experts agree on, however, is that while your parents’ good dental health may mean you are somewhat less vulnerable to dental problems, your personal decisions regarding the care of your teeth has a much more significant impact. Even someone with the genes for good dental health can easily cause major problems to his or her teeth by not caring for them properly.
Myth # 5: You Only Need to Visit the Dentist When You See a Problem
Of course, if you see or feel something wrong with your teeth, you should visit your dentist immediately. However, if you do not notice any problems with your teeth, you should still schedule a checkup with your dentist every six months. In many cases, your dentist will notice problems long before they become apparent to you, hopefully preventing them from becoming serious.