As a long-time practicing dentist in Kennewick, WA, I can tell you that patient education is one of our best tools. We love meeting new patients in our office and giving them a healthy, beautiful smile. You can become a patient today by calling us at 509-591-0515.
But you’ll need great information between your visits for at-home care and to make decisions about your teeth moving forward.
This website is one tool. I update it often to make sure my patients are learning different things about their teeth. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out there, and people are falling for it. Today I want to debunk 5 dental myths that I see pop up on the internet — or that patients often ask me about. Here is my list:
1. Floss isn’t important. MYTH.
I understand that flossing is seen as a hassle. It can irritate the gums — especially if you don’t floss regularly — but it’s an important part of your oral hygiene plan. Flossing is a great way to fight off harmful cavities or even more harmful gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss. Additionally, consider this statistic: Only about 65 percent of the tooth is located above the gum line. You can clean most this area with a toothbrush, but you’ll need floss to properly clean beneath the gum line.
2. Dentures are just as good as natural teeth. MYTH.
Nothing is as good as your natural teeth. Your natural teeth are incredible tools. The enamel alone is the hardest material in your body. Dentures can look great, but the function is often lacking. We estimate that dentures provide only about 50 percent of the biting force of natural teeth. There is one tooth replacement option, however, that is nearly equal to the power of your natural teeth: dental implants: Implants are placed in the bone and naturally merge with the bone. They can be restored with either crowns, bridges, or dentures.
3. My teeth don’t hurt, so I don’t have cavities. MYTH.
Everyone’s teeth and gums are different, but things inside your mouth shouldn’t hurt. Period. Sometimes cavities can cause tooth sensitivity, but it’s also possible to have a serious problem like root canal infection and be in no discomfort. Waiting until something hurts is not a good idea. The only true way to determine if you’re free of dental disease is to visit a qualified dentist.
4. Bleeding gums are no big deal. MYTH.
Bleeding gums or swollen gums are the first sign of gum disease. You read earlier that gum disease is the leading of tooth loss. It also has been linked to serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. Gum disease is so dangerous because it can multiply and spread quickly. The infection starts in the gums, but it can made its way to the bone if left untreated. At this stage, gum disease can cause your teeth to dislodge. If you have bleeding or swollen gums, get to a dentist right away before it’s too late.
5. Missing teeth are only a cosmetic problem. MYTH.
It’s true that missing teeth are an eyesore. It’ll be one of the first things people notice about your smile. And a single missing tooth can cause the other teeth in your mouth to shift around. But missing teeth are more than cosmetic issues. Patients with total tooth loss have trouble eating the food they love or getting the right nutrition. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, people who have teeth can live 10 years longer than those without teeth.
I hope these few dental facts have given you a newfound respect for your teeth and gums. If you have dental problems — or more questions — don’t be embarrassed or shy. Our dental team at Marineland Dental Care is here to help. Give us a call today at 509-591-0515 or use the online form to request a visit.