Although they don’t involve alligators in sewers or Big Foot, there are actually plenty of myths about dental care. Get in the know thanks to myth-buster Rachel Smith, RDH, Hygienist at Whitmore Dental.
Rachel helps to bust some common “urban legends” about our teeth.
Myth # 1: Lots of toothpaste does a better job
“A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is all that is needed, for all ages,” Rachel says. “I recommend that patients use Colgate Total, which has been clinically proven to work better than other toothpastes to fight germs in tooth plaque – the same germs that cause gum disease, or gingivitis.
“If you’re looking for a gentler toothpaste, Oxyfresh or Perioscience toothpastes are both available from our office. They don’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a common ingredient in toothpastes that can be irritating for some individuals. Both are more soothing for your mouth.”
Myth #2: Fluoride in drinking water is dangerous
“The very small amount of fluoride in most public drinking water helps to reduce cavities among kids and adults.
“The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that families avoid regular use of bottled water, since it can cause higher rates of cavities in kids.
“If parents prefer to purchase bottled water for their children, there are a number of brands that include fluoride, as listed by the International Bottled Water Association http://www.bottledwater.org/fluoride. Or look for this statement on the bottle’s label: ‘Drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of tooth decay.’
“If you’re shopping for a water filter, look for one that doesn’t screen out the fluoride. PUR water filter pitchers and faucet-mount filters preserve fluoride– or look for the ADA seal on product packaging.”
Myth #3: Alcohol-based mouthwashes are best
“Although heavily advertised, alcohol-based mouthwashes tend to dry out the mouth too much and affect the chemical balance that keeps your mouth healthy.
“We encourage our patients to use mouthwashes that are not alcohol-based, including CloSYS (available in drug stores), Oxyfresh, and AO Prorinse from Perioscience. Both Oxyfresh and AO Prorinse are available online or from your dentist.”
Rachel explains that CloSYS and Oxyfresh include chlorine dioxide, a chemical compound that’s been safely used for years to purify drinking water. It’s very effective at getting rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth. AO Prorinse’s active ingredients are antioxidants and essential oils.
Myth #4: If I brush too hard or floss too deeply, I’ll get receding gums
“You do great things for your teeth through brushing and flossing. When you see your gums receding, that’s a sign that you could be at risk for bone loss.
“Bone loss can occur because of gum disease or issues with your bite — how your top and bottom teeth fit together. Bite problems can cause your top and bottom teeth to repeatedly collide, causing trauma to the bone and gum tissue.
“Infection around the gums – caused by chronic problems with bacteria and inflammation – can also make gums pull away from the teeth. More regular flossing and brushing and care from your dental team can help to prevent and improve this situation.
“If you’re concerned about tooth loss, bone loss or tooth recession talk with us at Whitmore Dental, and we can evaluate both your gum health and your bite.”
At Whitmore Dental, we want to ensure that you have the right information to support your choices about dental care and the health of your teeth. We’ll always take the time to answer your questions. Call Dee Dee or Janet today at 877-779-4486.