We did it once before and now we're back for more – busting myths!
Since your patients have unlimited access to some of the most bogus dentistry myths around, it's helpful to know which ones are the most popular in order to educate your patients properly.
We already busted a few of the most popular ones, but we decided to include a few more myths your patients may believe are actually true.
1. Tooth extraction affects eyesight. If you search this myth, you'll get a ton of results that claim this myth is true – all coming from patients themselves. Dentists know that tooth extraction does not affect eyesight because the nerve and blood supply is different for teeth and eyes.
2. The more you brush, the healthier your teeth will be. At first glance, this myth seems pretty plausible – the more you brush, the less likely food will stain and lodge itself into your teeth, right? Excessive brushing over time can actually lead to oral complications in the future like tooth sensitivity and bleeding gums.
3. Using toothpicks widens gaps between teeth. Unless your patients are using metal pins to dislodge food from their teeth, toothpick usage will not expand the gaps between their teeth. Wooden and plastic toothpicks are essentially harmless and effectively remove food particles that are trapped between your teeth. However, make sure your patients are being careful when using toothpicks since they can puncture the gums and soft tissues. It's always good idea to recommend flossing over toothpicks when possible since it is a safer and more effective way of cleaning between the teeth.
4. Kids are more likely to get cavities than adults. This wasn't always a myth since children naturally have more porous teeth making them more susceptible to cavities. However, the advancements in preventative care, access to fluoridated water and the help of sealants have reduced the amount of cavities in children by 50 percent in the last 20 years. A more recent discovery is the prevalence of cavities in senior citizens. Dentists attribute this change to certain medications that trigger dry mouth as a side effect. The lack of saliva in their mouths makes it difficult for them to fight tooth decay since it is responsible for neutralizing the acid in things we ingest, disinfection and prevents food particles from plastering themselves to their teeth.
5. All fillings eventually need replacing. This myth is dependent on how well your patients take care of teeth. If they follow a healthy oral regimen (brush, floss and rinse twice a day) on a daily basis, there is a strong chance their filling could last a lifetime. The only reasons a filling would need to be replaced is if it wears away, cavities develop around the filling or if the tooth cracks.