Facts And Myths In The Dental World

MYTH: Mouthwash is a substitute for flossing or brushing It makes your mouth feel clean and kills bacteria for 30s but after that your mouth is just as susceptible to bacterial invasion (causing cavities). Flouride, anti-gingivitis, breath freshening, pro-care-this, total-health-that. World of confusion.All a complete waste of money, and yes, that means all of them.

Facts And Myths In The Dental World

MYTH: Patients often state “the last tooth a dentist took out, he had his knee on my chest – literally!”

I have never seen, learn, been taught or heard of any dentist doing this. No amount of force from a knee will help a tooth come out. If we can’t get it out with forceps, we cut that shit out… remove bone gently from around the tooth and take it out in sections. This helps minimize trauma and is much nicer for the patient (despite how it sounds).

MYTH: Zoom Whitening or Same Day Whitening is far better than take-home bleach kits provided by a dental professional

This is something of which many dentists are not always aware. Zoom Whitening and other similar products are very effective (as seen on many a “makeover” show). They work to effectively bleach your teeth but also dry the s*** out of them.

If you dried your mouth for 30-45mins+ and kept it open without saliva exposure and shined a light on them they would be damn white afterwards. This process is known as “dessication” and eventually after many hours to days, moisture returns to the teeth returning to their original colour. The addition of bleach with these procedures is effective in bleaching but needs to be repeated for long-term effectiveness.

Take-home bleach kits from a dentist works over time and bleaches the enamel of your teeth. Plus, if your teeth don’t shift can be used again years later with a bleach refill. Much more effective for cost and time in the long term

FACT: Nitrous oxide or IV sedation can cause sexual hallucinations

This is a potential side effect of these drugs. In fact, male dentists , are not allowed to be alone in a room with a female while administering these agents in case of this – then it’s a he-said-she-said question in court.

FACT: Flossing is necessary

I know you hate it. I hate it. Your mom hates it. Floss hates itself. But there is NO replacement that is as effective as floss.

Do it. If you are susceptible to cavities or gum disease, this will either minimize your chance of cavities or premature tooth loss. Those that are low risk or less susceptible can get away with this more (one of my dentist buddies claims he never flosses and has never had a cavity) – but your risk factors can change and you will pay the price :(.

FACT: Soft drinks/juice/sports drinks are bad for your teeth

1 coke = 10 literal teaspoons of sugar.  Same goes for Gatorade/Powerade/Mountain Dew

I feel so bad for the parents of the little guys we have needing 10+ fillings and they are so proud of giving their little hockey player Gatorade for “electrolytes”. Marketing is powerful stuff. The constant exposure to this sugar creates an acidic environment which literally melts or erodes the enamel causing decay.

Note: it is frequency of exposure to refined carbs moreso than volume of sugar that causes tooth decay. Every time your saliva neutralizes the acid from these drinks you re-expose teeth to the acid.

Parents, do your kids a favour: lots of water for hydration and a banana for electrolytes.

FACT: Brushing your teeth too hard is a bad thing

Use a soft tooth brush (literally labelled soft). Getting a tooth brush with harder bristles will only cause damage.

Brush in a circular motion. Circular motion really just made it harder for you to press down as you’re brushing, and that’s the entire reason dentist recommend it. However lightly you think you’re brushing, -brush lighter.

FACT: Whitening products will only remove staining and don’t really have much effect on the inner layers of teeth

Lot of the color of your teeth is not determined by the enamel. Most of it actually comes from the tooth underneath. Some people just have darker teeth, deal with it.