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Myths & facts about Dentistry

Dr. J Hazarika, BDS

Although dental care is a very essential part of modern lifestyle we still choose to ignore it because of some myths. These myths are so popular among people but holds no value in reality. So clear the myths & know the facts about your gums & teeth.

  • After extraction eyes get weak: This is a very popular myth. There is absolutely no effect on the eyesight by the extraction of any teeth. The nerve supply to the eye & the teeth are different, hence, there should not be any interactions.

    But sometimes infra orbital nerve block if not given properly before extraction to anesthetize the area patients may experience  swelling of the eyelid, hematoma etc.
  • After scaling teeth get loosened: Scaling or dental cleaning is a procedure in which dental plaque & tartar(calculus) that accumulate along the gum line & between the teeth, are removed.

    Although dental cleaning doesn’t loosen the teeth, the removal of plaque exposes damage that has already  been done & so teeth will loose for sometime after the procedure. Dental cleaning actually protects the teeth against dental decay & tooth loss, but some patients can experience temporary looseness.
  • Using toothpicks after meals can widen the gaps between the teeth: Toothpicks never develop any gap between the teeth instead it removes food debris deposited in between the teeth.

    Although dental floss is more effective than toothpick. Because on regular use for a longer duration toothpick can abrasion & damage to your teeth at the base. Where they meet the gums.
  • No dental treatment during pregnancy: Above statement is partially true. You should not avoid dental treatment during pregnancy as in this period due to hormonal changes gum problems may develop.

    But a number of procedures such as x- rays, surgical procedures must be avoided during first & last trimester.
  • It is not harmful to clean your teeth by sodium bicarbonate: Sodium bicarbonate, we use for baking is very harmful because of its abrasive nature.
  • Fluoride is a pesticide in toothpaste: Inadequate ingestion of fluoride is associated with dental caries & on excessive intake of the same can lead to dental & skeletal fluorosis so fluoride is often called as double edged sword. Even soft tissues of body, bones, saliva, enamel also contain fluoride.

    The speed & severity of toxic response are dependent on the amount of fluoride ingested & the weight & the age of the individual. Fluorides used in toothpastes, gels & rinses are called self applied topical fluorides. These systems contain very less amount of fluoride which can never act as a pesticide.
  • Braces are not for adults: Adults can get braces without any doubt because teeth can move at any age.

    There are so many advancement in orthodontic treatment so they never interfere with your personal & professional life.
  • No brushing if gums bleed: Gums bleed when there is inflammation due to accumulation of plaque & tartar.

    So you should not avoid brushing as it removes food debris that are deposited in gum lines & between the teeth.
  • Eating too hot or too cold meals can harm my teeth: No, only damaged-exposed tooth surface come in contact with hot & cold food can cause sensitivity.

    But yes regular use of too hot or too cold food may affect your teeth.
  • Teeth whitening is harmful as it can damage the enamel: Studies have suggested  that bleaching is a relatively safe procedure, but the whiteners can cause some effects on the tissues of the mouth.

    It includes temporary gum irritation, considered a chemical burn, can be compared to a sunburn. Also tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of bleaching. Low concentrations of peroxide are safe if used as directed. However a new study finds UV teeth bleaching is not a bright idea.

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