Hey everyone! Happy July! It’s a beautiful month in Maine, and the we’ve been fortunate to have stayed very busy here at the practice!
This month I wanted to address some “sayings” that I hear over and over again from patients that simply are not true. Let’s start right in.
Myth #1 – flossing deeply cuts your gums
“I don’t floss because I always cut my gums and make them bleed!”
This is definitely NOT true. If your gums are bleeding when you floss, it’s because you’re not flossing deeply enough, often enough. You see, bacteria make their homes in every nook and cranny around your teeth and gums. If you don’t clean those bacteria often enough your body begins “fighting” the bacteria causing inflammation. The inflammation between the teeth is what makes the gums bleed. Flossing regularly, with the proper technique (and the proper floss!) will keep things clean enough so that your body has nothing to “fight”! Sadly, this myth leads people to avoid flossing, which causes cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease…not to mention pain!
Myth #2 – You lose a tooth for every pregnancy
“My teeth were fine until I started having kids! Being pregnant sucked all the calcium out of my teeth!”
Completely untrue. Let me explain the reason people think this.
Remember, cavities start very small…and can sometimes take years before they become a problem. It just so happens many women that haven’t been flossing regularly – or seeing their dentist and hygienist twice yearly – become pregnant just at the time when those cavities have become big enough to start hurting! Believe me, I’ve had hundreds of pregnant patients with beautiful teeth. It all boils down to prevention and understanding your teeth! 🙂
As a side note, although being pregnant can cause some women to be deficient in calcium, the calcium in your teeth is completely separate from calcium in your bones and blood. If you are pregnant, keep brushing and flossing – your teeth will be just fine. And if they’re not, it doesn’t have to do with your baby. Don’t blame them!
Myth #3 – Soft teeth
“Soft teeth run in my family, I can’t help getting cavities”
I’m sorry to tell you this, but there is no such thing as “soft teeth”. This is one of the beautiful things about teeth. You are completely in control of your tooth destiny, regardless of what your family has been through with their teeth. I’m here to tell you that even if both of your parents have dentures – or heck, if every one in the history of your family has had dentures – you don’t have to suffer the same fate. Tooth decay and “soft teeth” don’t run in the family. Also, if you are a denture wearer and don’t want the same thing for your children, don’t give up on your kids teeth. Teach them good dental hygiene, take them to the dentist regularly and teach them to make good diet choices. Tooth decay may not run in the family, but sadly, bad habits can.
My reason for writing this blog is not to make anyone feel stupid for thinking these things. Heck, I believed myth #1 when I was teenager! Instead, my intent is to have patients OWN their condition, and to feel empowered that they are in control. I feel that patients need to understand they haven’t been genetically sent down a path that’s hopeless and definite. So if it’s you that’s been led to believe these myths throughout your life, now is the time to take back control – because you don’t have to suffer, and you don’t have to live in pain.
And of course, if you need help reaching your goals, or have any questions – I’m here to help! In fact, everyone at Smile Design cares very deeply about helping our patients regain control of their oral health. It’s what we do! So give us a call if you’re ready to stop getting cavities and stop “cutting your gums” when you floss! 🙂
Have a great month everyone, and I’ll see you in August