Bad dental advice is nothing new, but thanks to the internet, it is now disseminated more widely than ever before. And when it comes to your oral (and overall) health, false information can be downright dangerous.

We’re here to set the record straight and dispel a few dental myths you may have heard or read about somewhere on the vast wilds of the internet. So read on, and be sure to book your next dental checkup at Davenport Dental Group. We have two Laredo, TX locations: Junction Drive (956-242-6745) and Winfield (956-517-2695).

Myth: All Sweets Are The Same

It’s true that that mouth-dwelling bacteria love carbs and sugar. And that when they consume the remnants of your last snack, they give off acids that destroy your tooth enamel and cause decay. That does not mean you have to eliminate every trace of sugar from your diet. After all, total deprivation may make you crave sweets more.

Definitely avoid sweets that are gummy or sticky. These get caught in the grooves of the teeth and are a sitting target for nasty microbes. It’s also a good idea to give up beverages that coat your mouth in sugar, like carbonated soft drinks, juice, and sports drinks.

If you are craving something sweet, consider a small piece of chocolate. Yes, that’s right: decadent, delicious chocolate is a relatively tooth-healthy choice. It contains compounds called polyphenols and flavonoids, which have been shown to eliminate harmful bacteria and slow tooth decay. Of course, there is a catch: stick with dark chocolate, as milk varieties contain much more damaging sugar. And eat in moderation.

Myth: Don’t Brush or Floss Bleeding Gums

This may seem like simple common sense. If your gums are bleeding, why irritate them more by brushing and flossing? The truth is that bleeding is typically caused by a buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria along the gumline that’s now inflamed. The problem will only worsen if you leave it alone. The key to reversing it and staving off more severe gum problems is removing plaque and bacteria with meticulous brushing and flossing. Be thorough but gentle. And if you continue to have issues, call Davenport Dental Group for a professional exam and cleaning.

Myth: To Get Your Teeth Really Clean, Brush Hard

You care about your oral hygiene. You want to get rid of every last trace of that nasty plaque and bacteria clinging to your pearly whites. So you don’t just brush, you scrub your teeth.

Bad idea.

While we love your dedication to a clean mouth, scrubbing your teeth is not only unnecessary, it is damaging. While you’ll remove plenty of plaque and bacteria, you’ll also remove your tooth enamel. And that’s definitely not a good thing. This puts you at risk for sensitivity and tooth decay. You may also end up damaging your gums. So use a gentle hand, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and take care to reach all surfaces of your teeth.

Myth: Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

They fall out down the road anyway, so why is it so important to take care of your little one’s teeth? Just because baby teeth aren’t permanent doesn’t mean they don’t matter. In the short-term, they are vital for your little one to function properly. Kids need teeth to speak clearly, chew their food, and have a confident smile. Prematurely lost teeth also have more long-term consequences. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth. So if one comes out before its time, permanent teeth may grow in at incorrect angles or drift into the empty space. So be vigilant about brushing and flossing your child’s teeth, and start regular dental checkups around age one (or when the first tooth comes in).

Myth: Fluoridated Water Is Dangerous

Fluoride is a mineral that’s been shown to strengthen tooth enamel and protect against cavities. And municipal water supplies have been supplemented with fluoride since the 1940s. Controversy about the practice has existed for decades, but thanks to the internet, conspiracy theories and myths about fluoride have an ever-growing audience.

Claims that fluoride causes cancer and thyroid disease appear to stem from sloppy interpretations of studies that in reality, prove no such link. The National Cancer Institute asserts that fluoride does not cause cancer.

Another fluoride falsehood is that the mineral is unsafe for young children. The American Dental Association says that fluoride is not only safe for kids, but is important for strengthening their tooth enamel and preventing cavities. So give your kids fluoridated tap water without worry. The science supports its benefits.

Learn to distinguish dental myths from dental facts. And schedule a checkup with Davenport Dental Group. We have two offices in Laredo, TX — Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 and Winfield at 956-517-2695. You may also get in touch via our online form.