While absolutely no evidence exists to 100% disprove the existence of a tooth fairy, these tooth myths have been put to bed.
Tooth Myth #1: White teeth = healthy teeth.
Like books, teeth shouldn’t be judged by their covers. While a whiter smile will do wonders for your confidence, no evidence suggests that whitening your teeth will improve their health. That still comes down to brushing and flossing regularly, seeing your dentist twice a year and staying away from sugary foods that contribute to poor oral health (and usually poor overall health too).
Tooth Myth #2: Everyone’s gums bleed.
Nope. Swelling and/or bleeding gums after brushing or flossing is a telltale sign of gum disease. It’s not normal and it should be addressed. The good thing is that nursing your gums back to health isn’t particularly challenging; it requires a simple commitment to brush and floss regularly in combination with regular dental visits.
Tooth Myth #3: Braces are only for young people.
While adolescence is the best time to correct alignment issues, it’s certainly not the only time. While many adults find the maintenance of having braces too challenging to add to their already-hectic schedules, many other adults push through, have braces put on their teeth and look infinitely better in no time.
Tooth Myth #4: Brushing properly negates the need to floss.
So incredibly wrong. Brushing accounts for roughly 65% of a clean mouth because it can really only focus on the bigger surface areas (front, back, top). But brushing can’t get between your teeth, which is where most of the decay-causing food particles wind up (the other 35% of the job). Not flossing will lead to cavities you don’t see until it’s too late. When that happens, a root canal or extraction could be your only option. And then you’ll think “why didn’t I take the 2.5 minutes every night to floss?”
Tooth Myth #5: You don’t have to be concerned about baby teeth.
Yes, you SHOULD concern yourself with baby teeth. Baby teeth play an important role in guiding the erupting permanent teeth to the right position. Removing one too early can create alignment issues in the adult teeth coming in behind them if no intervention is performed. Also, and maybe most importantly, getting your kids used to going to the dentist will go a long way to ensuring they continue going as adults.
And the last of the Tooth Myths: A straight set of teeth has only aesthetic value.
No doubt that straight teeth look better than crooked, gangly ones. But they have health benefits too. Crowded teeth hide some tooth surfaces, which means they’re not brushed properly. This can lead to gum disease and/or tooth decay. Also, crooked teeth can lead to an uneven distribution of biting forces, which can lead to not chewing your food properly and jaw related issues.
Bonus Myth: You don’t need to see the dentist twice a year.
That’s just crazy talk. Book an appointment.