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National Dentist Day 2024: Dispelling dental care myths

In matters of oral health and hygiene, numerous “facts” are handed down. Whether it’s the notion of brushing twice daily or the belief that whiter teeth equate to healthier teeth, distinguishing between true facts and concocted ones is crucial. Misinformation can lead you astray and hinder you from providing your teeth with the proper care they require. As we annually celebrate National Dentist Day on March 6 to honor dentists for their contribution to helping us lead healthy lives with bright smiles and prevent oral illnesses, here are some myths that need debunking to optimize your oral care.

Myth: Sugar is the sole cause of cavities.

We’re not suggesting that you have nothing to worry about and can indulge in sugar cravings at any time; however, the notion that sugar alone causes cavities is only partially true. It’s not sugar itself but the bacteria it fosters that lead to cavities.

The stickiness of sugar and starch provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and feed, resulting in the release of acidic enzymes that erode and decay teeth. Streptococcus mutans converts sugar into lactic acid, damaging gums and enamel.

Myth: Brushing harder equals cleaner teeth.

Cavities aren’t the only threat to your gums and teeth; improper brushing techniques can also cause damage. If you’ve been told that brushing harder means cleaner teeth, it’s time to discard that notion because the harder you brush, the more trauma your enamel and gums endure. Always brush gently for a minimum of two minutes, twice a day.

Myth: Flossing daily isn’t necessary.

Although flossing isn’t widely practiced in many Indian households, dentists recommend doing it daily. Flossing helps remove plaque buildup, which can otherwise accelerate tooth decay.
Myth: Crowns and fillings prevent future tooth decay.

If you’ve been told that a single dental filling is enough to safeguard against future decay, it’s important to disregard this notion as well. While crowns and fillings offer protection, they won’t completely shield your teeth from future decay. Tooth decay and cavity formation can occur at any time, so even with dental crowns, it’s essential to brush and floss properly every day.

Myth: Seeing a dentist is unnecessary if you have no issues.

Dental health issues aren’t always visible or apparent until they’ve progressed to a severe stage, causing pain and discomfort. This often results in root canals and expensive procedures that could have been avoided with early care. Therefore, even if you believe dental care is overrated, regular dental check-ups are the best way to prevent serious dental problems, including gum disease and gingivitis.

Achieving optimal dental health isn’t difficult when you follow genuine dental advice from experts and schedule semi-annual dental check-ups. Celebrate the National Dentist Day by booking your appointment today!