Myths & Facts

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Myths & Facts

Myth – 1

When the gums bleed, it is better not to brush the teeth.

Fact

Bleeding of gums is a sign that they are unhealthy. This usually is a result of plaque and food particles accumulating around the teeth. Until this collection is removed, the gums continue to bleed. This is an indication that the individual needs to visit a dentist for opinion and treatment. Brushing the teeth with a soft toothbrush by the proper technique removes the plaque and helps the gums recover. Initial bleeding seen during brushing gradually reduces over a period of time.

Myth – 2

Charcoal, tobacco, etc, in powder form is better than toothpaste in cleaning teeth.

Fact

The objective of cleaning the teeth is to remove the plaque and food particles on and around the teeth by the bristles of a toothbrush with the help of a toothpaste or powder. A standard paste or powder contains proper sized particles, which are not harmful to the teeth. However, other powders are coarse and can erode the outer layer of the teeth and permanently damage them. Hence, only standard toothpaste or powder should be used with a toothbrush. Toothpaste is better than powder as it can easily be dispensed on the brush and it may contain fluorides, anti-tartar chemicals, etc. The foaming action of the toothpaste also helps to freshen the mouth. Tobacco should not be used. Users enjoy the euphoric effect of nicotine present in tobacco rather than cleaning of the teeth and slowly become addicted to it. Hence, it should never be used.

Myth – 3

Dental treatment should be avoided during pregnancy.

Fact

While there is no truth in the above statement, dental X-rays are to be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. Many a times dental treatment is provided even during late pregnancy. Routine dental procedures can be carried out without any fear. However, major surgical procedures may require medical opinion before treatment. If anything, periodontal treatment (gum treatment) during pregnancy reduces the occurrence of pregnancy complications. Several studies over the last two decades have found an increased incidence of pregnancy complications in patients with poor oral hygiene. So next time you or someone you know is pregnant, don’t forget to refer her to a dentist for routine check up and scaling.

Myth – 4

Cleaning the teeth with finger & powder is better than with toothbrush.

Fact

The use of a tooth brush with bristles to clean plaque and food particles from almost all the surfaces of the teeth. The finger may not reach all the areas as well as a brush does. Hence, it is recommended to use a toothbrush with paste to clean the teeth and freshen the mouth. Finger can only be used to massage the gums after brushing is complete.

Myth – 5

Dental procedures are always painful.

Fact

Most dental procedures are carried out under local anesthesia, which makes the procedures totally painless. In addition the modern day high-speed drills cause less vibrations and are more comfortable for the patients.

Myth – 6

Professional cleaning/scaling/removal of tartar loosens the teeth.

Fact

In health, teeth are held firmly by the supporting tissues of the periodontium including bone. Bad oral hygiene results in the deposition of tartar /calculus on the tooth surface. These deposits irritate the gums and can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If the tartar is not removed, the gums may recede and the supporting bone around the teeth gets destroyed. The tartar on the teeth thus causes great harm to the supporting tissues of the teeth. However, patients may experience slight mobility of the teeth after tartar is removed as it kind of binds the teeth together. Professional cleaning removes this tartar and arrests further destruction of supporting bone. Removal of tartar deposits only helps to recover the health of supporting structures.

Myth – 7

Surgery of the gums affects vision.

Fact

There is a myth among many people that any surgery in the mouth affects vision. This is a misconception. Vision is not affected in any way by undertaking treatment of the upper teeth including its extraction.

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