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Mythbusters — Dental Edition

skeptical looking woman

Thanks to the internet, we have immediate information at our fingertips. Whether we want to know how many sequels there are to the Sharknado franchise, how much a new pair of Docksiders will cost, or the symptoms of shingles, we turn to our favorite search engine and go to town. And if it’s on the internet, it’s true, right? Wrong! Being wrong about Sharknado is harmless (unless you’ve placed a bad bet), but being wrong about something related to your health could potentially cause harm. This goes for your dental health, too. Almost every day, I hear incorrect statements about dentistry, and much of this misinformation comes from the web. So, have you been duped by these commonly held beliefs? Are you currently doing something that could be harming your teeth instead of helping them?

Myth #1 — If my teeth are healthy, then I don’t need to see a dentist.
The truth is, only a dental professional can tell if your teeth are truly healthy. Even if you brush and floss religiously, microscopic bacteria can become trapped below your gum line. Without the tools and experience of a dentist, this bacteria can harden and cause gum disease and tooth loss. Furthermore, dentistry is about more than teeth. Not only do we clean your teeth, we examine your oral tissues, assess your bite, and prevent potentially painful problems from occurring down the road. No matter how healthy you think your teeth are, be sure to visit my office at least twice a year.

Myth #2 — Placing an aspirin directly on the affected tooth can cure a toothache.
This myth is so old that it predates the internet. If you think about it logically, though, you’ll realize that it’s not true: When your knee hurts, do you place aspirin on it? Of course not! Not only does this not work, the acidity of the aspirin can burn your oral tissue, adding to your pain. In the event of a toothache, call my office ASAP so we can treat the source of the pain.

Myth #3 — You shouldn’t brush or floss if your gums are bleeding.
Actually, your gums may be bleeding because you’re not brushing or flossing regularly or correctly. Gum soreness and bleeding are among the first indicators of gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. If your gums are bleeding, continue to brush; just be sure to use a soft bristled brush and a gentle hand. Don’t forget to floss, either. With some consistency, the bleeding should stop over time. As always, it’s best practice to come in so I can take a quick look at your gums.

These are just three of MANY dental myths. There are two lessons I want you to take away from this:

  1. Do your research. Don’t believe the first site you read; make sure you can find the same information on multiple reputable sites.
  2. When in doubt, come to my office! You only have one set of teeth, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to maintaining that beautiful smile. Putting off treatment could actually exacerbate your condition, resulting in more pain and potentially more involved treatment.
    Whatever your ailment may be (or if it’s just time for your semi-annual visit), be sure to give me a call. I can promise you that I’m more reliable than the internet!

Best,

Dr. Braverman

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