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Dental Myths: Unveiling the Truth behind Common Misconceptions

Over the years dentistry has evolved from an imprecise practice based on traditional beliefs and folk cures, to a structured medical discipline that relies on science and technology. Although modern dentistry has come a long way, there are still many dental myths that are passed on by word of mouth. Smile Factory, Goa dentists help bust some dental myths.

  1. Do not buy over the counter drugs

    dental myth - woman buying over the counter drugs

The quantity and frequency of your medications needs to be controlled and monitored by a professional. Taking too much too often can be harmful. Also cheaper drugs with the same constitution as their more expensive alternative may work just as well and can save your wallet. Get your doctor to prescribe your medications correctly for the right amount of time, quantity and frequency.

     2. Do not use hot compress

Dental Myth - applying hot compress

Hot water compresses, hot water bottles are not advisable to be applied for toothache on to the face. Heat directly applied may give immediate relief for a short while but it will make the dental pain severe and give rise to swelling. To avoid pain after a dental treatment, apply cold compress like ice pack or a bag of frozen peas.

     3. Do not use mouthwash without consulting your dentist

dental myth - cleaning with only mouthwash

Mouthwashes aren’t designed to replace daily brushing and flossing of your teeth. They are usually recommended by the dentist as a supplement to daily dental care of brushing flossing and rinsing. Overusing mouthwashes can result in an increased risk of oral cancer.

Busting some Dental Myths

know about dental facts and myths

     1. Extraction of teeth may affect eyesight

This is a very popular myth in India. Extraction of teeth properly executed may in no way affect your eyesight. Sometimes due to anesthesia or swelling your eyesight may get a little blurry, for some time, but there is no harm caused to the eyesight because of extraction.

     2. Teeth should not be extracted during rains

Patients very often hesitate to extract their teeth during monsoons, believing that it would affect their well-being. The weather plays no role in extraction and it can be safely done in any weather.

     3. Using salt to brush teeth

Salt is a very abrasive substance and can erode teeth enamel and damage your teeth. Due to the weakened protection of the enamel you are exposing your teeth to decay and erosion.

    4. Scaling/cleaning loosens teeth

Scaling per se does not loosen teeth. There could be some buildup of tartar between the teeth which gets cleaned during scaling. This may cause you to feel that your teeth have become a little loose, but it does not actually loosen teeth. The sensation should pass in sometime.

    5. Coconut oil/ Olive oil to clean and whiten teeth

An old Ayurvedic way to clean teeth is to swish a mouthful of coconut oil in your mouth for some time every morning, which is claimed to remove bacteria and debris and hence clean and whiten teeth. There is no scientific evidence to back this theory. It could loosen some debris but it should not replace your regular dental routine of brushing, rinsing and flossing. Coconut oil can however be used to massage the gums after treatment to assist in blood flow, and is often recommended.

    6. Pregnant women should not visit the dentist

It is mandatory and recommended to visit the dentist and get a checkup done before getting pregnant to ensure healthy mouth. During pregnancy it is safe to get a dental checkup done however, it is best to avoid the first and third trimester. However, regular dental visits are essential as Pregnancy Gingivitis is very common at this time.