by Christine Mauris, Guest Contributor
Not everything you hear about oral health is true. Let’s just get that out of the way. Many people are intrigued by dental health, but not all of them understand it.
Did you know that what goes on in your mouth can be an indicator of your overall health?
Our mouths are home to different kinds of bacteria. Most of the time, these bacteria are harmless especially when we practice good dental hygiene. However, when we don’t take good care of our teeth, mouth, lips, and gums, the existing bacteria can multiply and cause oral infections.
Studies conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that almost all adults suffer from one or more types of cavities. This goes to show how important our oral health is. Thus, we need to have correct facts about it, and we can do that by debunking existing myths.
Let’s look at some of the myths surrounding oral health.
- Whitening is bad for your teeth
There is the belief that whitening your teeth will damage them; this is not true. The modern teeth whitening products are aimed at improving one’s smile while protecting your oral health. The best toothpaste for whitening is one that is free of parabens, and any products that are harmful to teeth. You can even get some that are 100% vegan if this is what you want. All you need to do is follow the instructions given by your dentist or the manufacturer.
Alternatively, you can visit a dentist to have your teeth whitened.
- White teeth are healthy
We all want white teeth, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Studies reveal that between 18 to 52% of humans are not content with their teeth color. White teeth make us appear more attractive, and that’s why we all wish we could have that. However, this is not a measure of good oral health.
It may be difficult to tell that if someone with white teeth has tooth decay due to the absence of physical evidence. However, your teeth may be decaying in some areas that are not easily seen. Your gums may be weak or have some disease or infection. However, if you only focus on your white teeth, you might miss the signs that something may be wrong with your dental health.
- Sugar is the cause of tooth decay
Growing up, we were always told to stay away from sugar and sugary stuff and the reason we were given was that sugar would make our teeth decay. Most of us carried this belief to adulthood, and we are convinced that sugar is the only ingredient that can lead to teeth decay. While sugar can damage your teeth, it is not the only culprit. When you take in carbohydrates, the bacteria in your mouth do merge with your saliva to form plaque and increase the level of acid responsible for damaging the surface of your teeth. To avoid this, brush and floss your teeth after eating foods rich in sugar or carbohydrates.
- You should only visit a dentist when your teeth hurt
I don’t know where the notion that you don’t need to see a doctor unless you are in pain came from but a lot of people follow it religiously. Some dental problems are painless until they worsen. At this point, it will be more hectic and expensive trying to resolve it. If you’re not lucky, you might even lose your tooth. A good example is a cavity. When you are suffering, you will only feel pain when it gets to the nerves. Most of the time, a filling will not do much and the solution may be to get a crown and root.
Visiting a dentist twice a year will help to detect tooth problems early enough for them to be treated.
You cannot afford to be passive when it comes to your dental health. It is time to take the wheel to ensure you have healthy teeth, mouth, and gums. Stop believing the myths mentioned in this article and start investing time and resources in your oral health. Brush, floss, and go for checkups at a dental clinic.