With the availability of information online thanks to social media and the internet, it’s easy to fall victim to false information online. A website can look incredibly reliable, yet still be populated with information that is downright wrong, not backed by studies, and actually dangerous because it can cause people to take the wrong approach to their oral health.
Much of the information floating around out there surrounding dentistry are myths that make people think they can DIY their dental care. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are reasons why dentists go to school for eight years and it’s not because people can do the job of a dentist themselves!
Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths we see out there.
Baking Soda is a Cure All
We’ve had many a patient come in and ask about using baking soda to replace their toothpaste. The good thing about baking soda is that it is natural. As a result, people tend to assume this product is superior and more healthy than the toothpastes that are out on the market today.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Baking soda is a helpful supplement to oral hygiene, but it shouldn’t be used to replace toothpaste. The good thing about baking soda is that it does help to neutralize acids in the mouth, which cuts down on bad breath, but it doesn’t have fluoride, which helps to keep your teeth strong and fighting cavities. Additionally, baking soda is an abrasive and should not be used every day. Instead, it should be used no more than a few times a week. While baking soda is a whitening agent, it is not strong enough to get you the results you might expect from an in-office whitening procedure. The lack of results often drives people to use the product more often and in larger doses, which just causes more abrasions to the surface of the tooth.
Crushed Aspirin Can Help a Toothache
This is one of those myths that makes us cringe every time we hear a patient mention it. By crushing aspirin and putting it on a tooth you’re not solving a toothache, you’re actually damaging the enamel and roots. This drug was made to be ingested because the acids in your stomach can break it down and distribute it throughout your body.
When you simply crush aspirin and put it on a tooth those chemicals can’t break down properly and instead damage the tooth and surrounding tissues, including your gums, cheeks, and lips.
Stop Brushing if Your Gums Bleed
If you notice your gums bleed when you’re brushing don’t stop brushing. Instead, schedule an appointment with our office. Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gingivitis, which can lead to more advanced periodontal disease.
When you come in we will examine your mouth to determine what is truly causing the issue and provide a treatment plant to nip it in the bud. This will often include tweaking your brushing routine and having your teeth cleaned by a hygienist.
Avoiding Dental Myths
The best way to avoid dental myths is to not research your problems online. Instead, bring them to us so we can provide you with the most up-to-date information from scientific research. If you do decide to research symptoms, stick to .org and .edu websites. These tend to be the most trustworthy and reliable when it comes to delivering accurate information.