As a dentist in Los Angeles, CA, we are asked many questions that arise from common oral health myths. While it is perfectly normal for myths to spread, some can be dangerous to your oral health if followed. For example, many people believe that since milk contains calcium, it is safe for your teeth. While partially true, milk also contains sugar, so if you send a child to bed with a bottle on a regular basis, they could suffer from baby bottle tooth decay and end up with numerous cavities. Simple mistakes like this can lead to discomfort, so visit our office with any questions or concerns that you have. In the meantime, here are a few myths we hear and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: You should not brush your teeth if your gums are bleeding.
The Truth – As a dentist in Los Angeles, CA, we want to make sure you call our office if your gums are bleeding. This is very often a sign of gum disease and an indication that you need to visit our dental office as soon as possible. We can remove the plaque and tartar that has become trapped underneath your gums, so they are no longer irritated. In the meantime, you need to continue to brush your teeth, because otherwise, more plaque will gather, and they will become further irritated.
Myth #2: Hard toothbrushes are the best way to clean teeth.
The Truth – We recommend that you apply steady pressure and brush in a circular pattern using a soft toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Hard toothbrushes may seem to provide the best clean, but they can actually cause erosion. Aggressive brushing is one way that enamel can be stripped from your teeth, becoming sensitive in the process. As a dentist in Los Angeles, CA, we recommend that you avoid this by using a soft toothbrush.
Myth #3: Natural sugar is not bad for your teeth.
The Truth – All types of sugar are bad for your teeth, including the sugar found in fruit juice and milk. Your mouth is full of natural bacteria, and when you eat or drink something high in sugar or starch, those bacteria can use it to create plaque. Since plaque can cause both cavities and gum disease, it is important to rinse your mouth after drinking anything high in sugar and to brush your teeth two to three times per day.
Myth #4: Whitening teeth with lemons is safe.
The Truth – In our dental office, we can whiten your teeth more effectively than any at-home treatment, including natural remedies like lemons. Beyond the appearance of your teeth, whitening with lemons is not a good idea because the acid inside of them can lead to erosion. Since you only have a limited amount of enamel, it is important to protect it and avoid erosion and the unnecessary sensitivity that comes with it.
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