When it comes to our health, we’re quick to believe what we hear. We put coconut oil on our faces because we read that it can be beneficial for our skin, we avoid using a razor on hair that we don’t want to grow back thicker, and we don’t use the same shampoo for too long so that our hair won’t “get used to it.” We love to believe that these things are true, but in the real world, coconut oil clogs pores, shaved hair doesn’t grow back any thicker, and shampoo will never stop performing for your hair simply because you’ve used it a lot.

We are extremely susceptible to a wide variety of myths that we hear regarding many different things. We believe tall tales about celebrities’ lives, politics, weight loss tips, health, and last but not least, we’re quick to believe myths about our dental health. There are many myths floating around regarding not only visits to the dentist, but also details of your oral health. But what’s the real story? In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most common myths regarding your dental routine and we’ll also set the record straight.

Myth #1 – If you brush and floss your teeth right before a dental visit, your dentist will believe that you regularly practice these good habits.

For decades, people in Eagan and all over the country have been trying to pull the wool over their dentist’s eyes by doing a quick once over on their pearly whites, (or pearly yellows, rather) right before they leave the house for their dental visit. Though we’ve often thought that we fooled him or her, our dentist can always tell when we have not been consistent with our brushing and flossing. Here are some really good indicators with will immediately give you away:

  • Copious Amounts of Plaque and Tartar

Obviously, if your teeth are caked with plaque or tartar buildup, it’s probably going to be obvious to your dental provider that you’re not regularly brushing/flossing.

  • Multiple Cavities

Cavities can happen for a number of reasons, but most often, they’re the result of not enough brushing or flossing.

  • Bleeding Gums

Healthy gum tissue doesn’t usually bleed with brushing and flossing. So if your dentist experiences bleeding gums as he’s doing his routine work, he will probably know that you’ve been less than diligent with your dental routine.

So, the bad news is that your dentist has your number and knows that you’re not flossing every day, the good news is that you can start flossing daily now! There is never a better time to put your dental health first.

Myth #2 – Professional teeth whitening will remove all your tooth enamel.

We’ve all heard this rumor; we are hesitant to whiten our teeth because we fear for their health and protection. But this is a little extreme. When done under the supervision of your dental professional, teeth whitening is safe, painless, and effective. It should be stated though, that too many visits to get your teeth whitened can eventually cause a breakdown of tooth enamel. The only side-effect that is commonly reported is slight tooth sensitivity. Now, this being said, there are certain over-the-counter products that don’t come with the same guarantee. Some of these products could be dangerous and for this reason, it’s wise to leave teeth whitening to the pros.

Myth #3 – Mouthwash containing alcohol is safe to use on a daily basis.

Most of us own a bottle of mouthwash or two, and whether we gargle every morning, or save it for occasional “after-garlic bread” use, we’ve perhaps never thought to check the ingredients listed on the back of the bottle, but perhaps you should. There have been multiple studies which indicate that mouthwashes that contain alcohol can cause a number of dental health issues. If you prefer to use mouthwash, make sure that you’re not swishing with anything that includes alcohol.

Myth #4 – Dental Problems Stay in The Mouth

While it’s easy to believe that if you have dental issues, it only affects your mouth, that’s simply not the case. The health or demise of your teeth can have far-reaching effects on other parts of your body. Poor dental health can contribute to strokes, heart disease, and more. If your mouth is a breeding ground for many different bacteria due to lack of proper dental hygiene, your body is going to work extra hard to try and fight off infection. Think of your mouth as a window to the rest of your body. If your teeth are in poor condition, you could deal with additional health problems as a result. Additionally, if a pregnant woman doesn’t take very good care of her teeth, the bacteria that forms in her mouth could find its way into her bloodstream, and eventually, into her baby’s bloodstream. For obvious reasons, oral health is extremely important.

We hear all kinds of stories about all kinds of things and some of us tend to believe everything we hear. But it’s important that whenever we hear something about our dental health, unless it’s coming right from a dentist, we take the time to perform our own research and due diligence. Or you can always ask your Eagan dentist. No matter what you’ve heard, it’s never too late to start taking great care of your teeth. There is always something that you can do to improve your oral health, whether that means brushing more, flossing consistently, or visiting your dentist more regularly. And stay tuned for part two of our blog series about dental myths!

If you’re looking for a great dentist in the Eagan area, contact our office! We’d love to chat with you about your dental health.