For dental care to be effective, consistency is needed. This is why our dentist or hygienist schedules regular dental appointments with us. While this may not be your most favorite thing to do, regular visits to your dentist may save your teeth from more serious damage in the future. It is no secret that many people experience anxiety every time a dental check-up is needed. That is why we have created our own set of dental beliefs, thinking that we can take care of our teeth on our own. These dental myths have been passed on to many generations so that many of us end up believing in them. Blame it on popular media, word of mouth, or even your own parents! For whatever reason, these untruths still exist today. On the brighter side, we have dentists that work tirelessly to inform us of the truth. After all, these myths are as unreal as the tooth fairy, and it's time to debunk them! Myth #1 Only sugar causes tooth decay. Some children are not into sweets, but that does not exempt them from experiencing dental problems like tooth decay. You'll be surprised at how many kinds of food that we believe to have healthy sugars can equally damage our teeth if we have poor dental hygiene. Bacteria is, in fact, the leading cause of tooth decay and not sugar itself. Bacteria feeds on sugars and is activated through the high level of sugar inside the mouth. These sugars are removed through regular tooth brushing, flossing, and dental cleaning with a dentist. It’s fine to have sugar once in a while, but it’s necessary to maintain dental hygiene habits all the time. Myth #2 “I'm 50. I'm too old veneers.” Being 50 years old or older does not mean that you should let your dental health hang. After all, veneers and other types of dental cosmetic procedures have no age limit on them. Good dentists know how to make veneers look as natural as they can get. They are skilled in matching the shade of porcelain veneers to natural teeth so that they can do their job without the whole world knowing. If you have a gap in your teeth, the pressure of the veneers will also help close it. So if you are unhappy with your smile, whether you are 20, 50 or even 60 years old, veneers can change your life! Myth #3 You must brush your teeth right after every meal. This is merely paranoia at its best! You need to clean your teeth after a heavy meal but you can wait 30-60 minutes before you get hold of that toothbrush. Our body has its own way of protecting itself against bacteria, and our teeth are certainly not an exemption. The teeth is protected by the enamel, the strongest natural substance in our body. It prevents bacteria from entering crowns and destroying the structure. Although the enzyme is strong, it softens up temporarily while we eat because of the food’s natural acid. Brushing away too soon after eating would mean washing away this protective covering as well. Secondly, saliva works wonders. It is capable of breaking down the food enzymes and washing away unwanted bacteria in the mouth. The body is an amazing thing. We should give it a chance to take care of itself like it’s made to do. Myth #4 Hard bristles make a better toothbrush. Whoever said this may not have experienced brushing with hard bristles at all! Fact is, the dental area is a very sensitive part of the body. It is full of soft tissue and nerves that can easily break down because of wrong brushing tools. We think that hard-bristled toothbrushes can more effectively clean, but it's the other way around. Dentists recommend using toothbrushes with long, soft bristles. This type of toothbrush won't give you a hard time cleaning hard-to-reach areas. It's flexible, gentle on your mouth, and very efficient as well. Myth #5 Whiter teeth is equal to healthier teeth. This is something that advertisements may have brainwashed us with. Though teeth should generally be on the whiter side, that doesn't guarantee their health and strength. White teeth may be aesthetically pleasing but teeth color varies from person to person, and this is not the only variable that determines good dental health. Knowing which factors can truly affect dental health is important in keeping our teeth healthy. Having an accurate list of do's and don't's can also save our teeth from severe damages in the future. Set up a dental appointment today and learn about other practical recommendations to keep those pearly whites in great shape.