Fact: There are dental problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye – gum disease, hairline fractures and root canal disease are just a few. Dentists use sophisticated technologies – like digital X-rays – to detect problems both on and beneath the surface of your teeth. Plus, it’s a mistake to think of dental visits as emergency care; they’re just as much about preventive care.
Myth: I don’t need to worry about my teeth because my parents never had problems.
Fact: Though genetics may play a small role in predicting your oral health, how well you take care of your teeth will be the single most important determinant in how healthy they are.
Myth: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is just as effective as brushing.
Fact: It’s true that chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help clean your teeth, stimulate saliva flow and freshen your breath after meals. But it’s no replacement for a thorough brushing and flossing, which actually removes dental plaque and food debris.
Myth: I shouldn’t brush my teeth if my gums are bleeding.
Fact: Bleeding gums can be a sign that you’re brushing too vigorously or gum disease. Keep brushing, but make some adjustments. Use a toothbrush with medium-soft bristles and brush in a circular motion. If the bleeding continues after a few days, see your dentist.
Myth: If I have a toothache, placing an aspirin tablet next to the tooth will relieve pain.
Fact: Putting an aspirin tablet in direct contact with the soft tissues of your mouth will not help relieve a toothache. In fact, this can lead to painful chemical burns. Don’t do it! See your dentist for relief.
Myth: All dental procedures must be avoided during pregnancy.
Fact: Although certain procedures, such as X-rays or dental surgery, should be avoided during pregnancy, regular dental treatments should continue as usual.
Guest Writer-Dr. Mitra Evans is a South Bay dentist with a practice located at 23326 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance. She can be reached at (310) 375-3939 or visit her website for more information at drevanstorrance.com.