Healthy teeth and gums are important for your overall health. Usually gum diseases are caused by bacterial plaque which if neglected can lead to inflammation and bleeding. And when it comes to preventing and treating teeth problems, all it takes is a few simple dental care rules. However, people do not bother to follow the rules and also tend to have certain misconceptions about dental health in general. Here are some common myths and facts about dental care...
Myth # 1: Too much brushing can harm and weaken your teeth.
Truth: What actually harms teeth is improper brushing. The required time for brushing is seven to ten minutes and hardly anybody fulfils this requirement. Proper oral hygiene and dental care requires rinsing your mouth every time you eat something and brushing your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and after dinner. While most people follow the advice of brushing twice a day, the time spent on brushing is not more than one minute which cannot clean each and every tooth properly. If you are not sure about your brushing method ask your dentist to teach you how to brush and floss properly.
If teeth are not regularly and thoroughly cleaned after every meal, some food particles cling to the surface of the teeth and settle in the spaces between the teeth and the gums. With continued neglect these food particles become part of a gelatinous film which envelops the teeth. Additional layers from saliva are added to this film and forms plaque which irritates soft tissues of the gums and causes gingivitis and bleeding.
Improper brushing also leads to development of caries. When food particles are left clinging to the teeth, germs start acting on these particles and produce acid which damages tooth enamel and causes caries to develop.
Myth # 2: If your gums bleed, brushing will worsen the situation and make the bleeding more profuse.
Truth: Bleeding gums is a sign that your teeth require more thorough cleaning, not less. Because of a long-time habit of improper cleaning, plaque begins to deposit in a pocket in the gums. While brushing, gums are sandwiched between the brush and the plaque which makes them bleed. Proper and regular brushing can help you get rid of this problem.
Myth # 3: Scaling grates teeth and weakens the roots which does irreparable harm to teeth and make them fall.
Truth: Micro-organisms and acids in the mouth combine to make hard surface which deposits in the gums. These deposits or calculus once formed cannot be removed by ordinary brushing and require scaling by a qualified dental surgeon. If these deposits are neglected for a long time they will go deeper and deeper and destroy the bone. Moreover the root will also be exposed leading to sensitivity. If the calculus is removed by scaling at an advanced stage the roots may become weak and the patient may consider scaling as the cause. Thus, what is required is a periodical six month check up to remove calculus deposits before they damage the bone.
It is important to remove calculus through scaling at a proper time, so that the cycle of gum disease is broken and the onset of gum disease is prevented. Proper technique of brushing twice a day coupled with flossing would take care of your oral hygiene. For maintaining the proper oral hygiene dentists recommend professional cleaning or scaling of the teeth at least once a year.
In short, it is the presence of deposits that leads to the weakening of teeth and not the process of removing the deposits. The age old notion that the process of scaling causes weakening of teeth is absolutely baseless.
Taking good care of teeth involves regular and thorough cleaning and periodic visits to your dentist for early detection of tartar, caries or any other teeth related problems. Early detection and treatment will not only be less costly but will also save you many extra and painful hours at the dentist's clinic.