Welcome to our first blog post at Prince William Family Dental! In our blog, we will be posting blogs that are meant to entertain and inform about dental health. And that’s why it’s fitting, for our first post, to write about common myths and misconceptions that people have about dentists and dental health in general.
There are countless fictions and pieces of misinformation that flow around the public consciousness. Sometimes, being misinformed about something is harmless, but sometimes, it affects people’s behavior and may even determine whether or not they get regular dental checkups. It’s up to you to decide how often you want to stop by the dentist, but at the very least, that decision should be predicated on true facts.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common dental myths! If you’ve been had by one of these, consider booking an appointment at our dental clinic if you live in Woodbridge or any of the surrounding areas in Virginia!
MYTH: YOU ONLY NEED TO GO TO THE DENTIST IF YOUR TEETH LOOK OR FEEL BAD
As is the case with most medical issues, it’s actually prudent to get frequent checkups, even if something isn’t obviously wrong. Pretty much any doctor advises getting regular wellness appointments because there are quite often problems cooking in the human body which can take weeks, months, or even years to notice. In a lot of these cases, they get a lot worse if they’re not caught early on, resulting in a medical disaster by the time they’re noticed.
It’s not too dissimilar with dentistry. Yes, there are times where your teeth might hurt, or show visible signs of unhealthiness, such as excessive staining or black marks. In these occasions, you definitely shouldn’t be wasting time in visiting your local dentist. But if you see or feel none of these things, that doesn’t mean that your teeth are pitch perfect.
Cavities are a good example of why this is important. Cavities can be minuscule in size, but if they’re left untreated, they can grow over time, leaving your tooth much more exposed to danger. Did you know that many cavities go unnoticed for months? Cavities are usually associated with slight pain or sensitivity, but sometimes they’re so tiny that they’re impossible to notice. By getting regular checkups, you can identify them as well as any other issues that are building up.
MYTH: DENTAL VISITS ARE UNNECESSARY IF I’M REGULARLY BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
Some people take great pride in their dental hygiene. While the general wisdom is to brush your teeth two to three times a day, many people brush five to six times a day and carry flossing sticks around on the regular. These people take tremendous care of their teeth, and yet, even they are not immune to cavities.
If you regularly take care of your teeth, you greatly reduce the risk of dental problems. Cavities can indeed be staved off if you’re diligent, but when it comes down to it, nothing can ever be guaranteed.
Everybody’s mouth, teeth, and gums are different, and genetics play a big role in their health. We’ve had patients who have poor brushing and flossing habits who have never had a cavity in their life, while others develop them on the regular, despite being diligent in cleaning their teeth. Never assume that your teeth are perfectly healthy just because you’re practicing daily upkeep.
You don’t need to be going in every week, but at least one annual checkup is something that everybody should have on their calendar!
MYTH: BRUSHING TIME DOESN’T MATTER
Conventional wisdom dictates that you should be brushing your teeth twice a day. The obvious solution to this is brushing before you go to bed, and when you wake up in the morning. This is tried-and-true, and as dental professionals, it’s hard to disagree with it. Brushing before bed helps to clean your teeth before you fall asleep, which is important because your mouth tends to get a lot drier during slumber. Less saliva means less natural cleansing, so if you leave a bunch of bacteria in your mouth, you’re basically allowing it to slowly disintegrate your teeth overnight.
Brushing your teeth in the morning helps to clean your teeth out from whatever built up during the night, and also leaves your mouth with a nice fresh breath, something that your coworkers will no doubt appreciate.
So, what’s the myth here? Well, a lot of people hear the “twice a day” advice, and figure that they can brush whenever they want. While it’s never a bad thing to brush, you’re not going to get the same effects if you just randomly brush twice in two different times of the day, especially if they’re not near your bedtime. We don’t know why it’d ever be more convenient to brush during the day instead of at home, but hey, there are a lot of things we don’t understand about this world.
MYTH: CAVITIES DON’T MATTER IN BABY TEETH
If you discover a cavity, it should be filled, and that’s all there is to it. This is obvious for most adults when it concerns their own mouths because there’s a sense of permanence. You can’t just grow new teeth, so you’ve gotta take care of the ones you have.
Unfortunately, this mentality is sometimes lost on people when it comes to their child’s baby teeth. Since the tooth is just going to fall out anyway, some people think it’s not worth it to fill them. This is a dangerous line of thought for a few different reasons.
By not treating cavities, you might be promoting bad habits. It’s possible the cavity developed because of poor brushing and flossing habits. If you don’t make it clear that cavities are bad news, the child could ostensibly think there’s nothing wrong with their dental hygiene habits. You’d be surprised at how hard it can be to overcome lazy brushing tendencies, even way into teenage years or adulthood.
Secondly, cavities can be a source of pain, which may actually cause the kid to eat less. If they don’t voice their pain to you, you may have no idea why they’re eating less. It’s good practice to fill cavities even when they’re in baby teeth — it helps to keep tooth pain at bay, and helps promote good habits.
FAMILY DENTISTRY IN WOODBRIDGE
Have you been fooled by any of the myths listed above? If so, it’s probably a good idea to get a checkup with us at Prince William Family Dental! We are a family dentistry, and we serve the people of Woodbridge, Dumfries, and other surrounding areas in Virginia. We don’t really care where you’re from — we just want to make sure you have the best dental health possible!
Our team is made up of qualified professionals who care first and foremost about your needs. As a family dentistry, we go out of our way to make appointments bearable for children, and we also have all the comprehensive knowledge and experience to cover any kind of dental problem adults may face. We take our profession seriously, and we want every patient to walk out feeling like their oral health is in tip-top shape.
Have you been looking for a new dentist? We would love to set up an appointment with you. Contact us today!