There is a lot of misinformation going around about gums and teeth. “Brush with baking soda,” “Toothpastes with microbeads pack extra scrubbing power,” and “I started drinking juice instead of soda, because soft drinks have too much sugar” are just a few of the things you might hear. Hint: You should always brush with a fluoride toothpaste, microbeads can get trapped in your gumline and cause serious infections, and some fruit juices contain just as much (or even more!) sugar than soda. Unfortunately, the rumors, myths, and misinformation does not stop there. What are some other commonly held myths about our smiles?
Myth: George Washington Had Wooden Teeth
Perhaps the oldest — and most widely believed — myth in the U.S. is that George Washington had wooden teeth or wooden dentures. The Smithsonian finally sets the record straight: “Washington’s dentures over the course of his lifetime used materials like human teeth along with bone and ivory from hippopotamus. Ivory from walrus and elephant may also have been used, along with lead, gold metal wire and springs, and brass screws.” Although the myth may seem irrelevant to modern family dental care and cosmetic dental procedures, that’s just not true. In fact, cosmetic and family dentists suggest it may have been some of the first cosmetic dentistry in the U.S. — with the human teeth used being more like today’s dental implants than dentures.
Myth: Having The Perfect Smile Takes A Lot Of Work
Every year, Americans shell out approximately $1.4 billion on tooth whitening alone. Taking care of our teeth — and finally getting that dazzling white smile — doesn’t necessarily have to be a long, arduous process. In fact, the best bit of family dental care advice is to brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and avoid foods that may promote tooth decay or the erosion of tooth enamel. Toothbrushes (and therefore the means to keep teeth mostly healthy!) have been around since 1938. For optimal health and results, Americans should replace their toothbrushes every three months, or immediately after being sick.
Don’t let misinformation and myths keep you from a healthy smile. Carefully brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day, and — if you need dental implants — realize that dentists have had years to perfect them.