According to Statistic Brain, 78% of Americans will have at least one cavity by the time they’re 17-years-old. Further, 74% of Americans suffer from at least one type of periodontal disease. In other words, on our report cards for dental health, the vast majority of us are getting F’s.
While it’s undoubtedly the case that much of our trouble stems from the fact that we ignore our family dentists and consume way too much food that’s bad for our teeth, while simultaneously neglecting smart dental hygiene practices, it’s also true that we’re not totally to blame. Misinformation around the web from people claiming to be family dental care experts has led to many Americans believing in dental healthcare myths. These myths undoubtedly feed into the $108 billion Slate, an online magazine, says we spend annually on general and cosmetic dental work. With a little bit of education from people who actually know family dental care, you can get back on track to beautiful, healthy teeth.
Four Dental Healthcare Myths You Need to Stop Buying Into
You Can Only Have Bad Breath if You Don’t Brush Your Teeth
Many Americans suffer from halitosis, or chronic bad breath. While 85% of all cases of halitosis are caused by a dental condition, most don’t realize that this problem can actually be caused by a bacterial imbalance in their stomach, as WebMD writes. If you’re scrubbing your teeth harder and harder to stop your bad breath but it’s not working, chances are there is something else at play.
You Should Brush Your Teeth After Meals
For Colgate, one of the most damaging myths people buy into is the belief that they should be brushing their teeth after meals. Despite that seeming like the sensible thing to do, food, especially if it’s acidic, can soften your enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. If you brush your teeth after consuming acidic food, you could literally brush your enamel away, weakening your teeth’s ability to ward off decay. Try brushing before meals instead.
Teeth Whitening Works for Everybody
Every year, Americans spend approximately $1.4 billion on cosmetic dental treatments and products that are meant to whiten their teeth. While the vast majority of these people are able to rejuvenate their smiles, many others find that teeth whitening does almost nothing for them. As MSN Healthy Living explains, patients with extremely poor dental health, those with cavities or near permanent stains, may not only find whitening procedures useless but also painful. You should consult with your family dental care professional beforehand to ensure whitening is the best option.
Only “Junk” Food Causes Tooth Decay
Your dentist has no doubt warned you about the dangers of drinking soda and eating too many sweets. Sugar, after all, is the primary food source of the bacteria that will eventually ruin your teeth. However, you might not know that it isn’t just junk food that can cause a problem; foods that are considered to be healthy, from honey to dried fruit, also contain sugar and can thereby adversely affect your dental health. As with anything, eating these foods in moderation with other healthy choices is your best bet.
Have you fallen victim to these dental health myths? What would you add to the list? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.