Myths & Facts

Myth – Removal of upper teeth affects vision.
Fact – Vision is not affected in any way by undertaking treatment of the upper teeth including its extraction.

Myth – One set of dentures will last a lifetime
Fact – Tissues beneath the dentures change over a period of time. Hence dentures need to be modified accordingly and hence cannot be assumed to last a lifetime without any modifications.

Myth – Scaling/removal of tartar loosens the teeth
Fact – Teeth are held in position by the bone. Tartar can sometimes bind the teeth together. Tartar causes inflammation of the gums and hence need to be removed. After removal of this tartar there may be slight mobility of the teeth, however this is necessary to ensure recovery of the health of the supporting structures.

Myth – Dental Procedures are always painful
Fact – Most dental procedures are nowadays done under local anesthesia and hence are painless.

Myth – Dental treatment cannot be done during pregnancy.
Fact – Dental treatment can only be done during the second trimester of pregnancy (4-6 months). During the first 3 or last 3 months of pregnancy only emergency dental procedures to provide pain relief can be carried out.

Myth – Cleaning of teeth is better with a finger than a toothbrush.
Fact – Toothbrushes can remove plaque and calculus from almost all the teeth and its surfaces and are much more effective compared to cleaning with a finger.

Myth – An infant doesn’t need cleaning of teeth
Fact – As soon as the teeth start erupting they require regular cleaning to prevent dental decay.

Myth – Milk teeth decay need not be treated as they are going to fall off anyways.
Fact – Milk teeth need to be cared as much. They could cause pain if decayed and also lead to difficulty in chewing food. Hence they should be treated. Also if there is an early loss of a milk tooth it could cause drifting and malalignment of the erupting permanent teeth.

Myth – When the gums bleed, better not to brush the teeth.
Fact – Bleeding is a sign of inflammation of the gums. Bleeding gums usually have plaque and tartar and require scaling (cleaning of teeth) to treat the underlying inflammation. Stopping brushing will accumulate more tartar thereby aggravating the problem. Hence cleaning followed by regular brushing with a soft toothbrush is recommended.

Myth – Toothache can be relieved by placing an aspirin tablet inside the tooth.
Fact – Aspirin tablet can cause burning of the soft tissues around the tooth. If placed inside the tooth, will not have any effect on the toothache. However if the tablet is swallowed can provide some relief. However the cause of the toothache should be investigated and treated.

Myth – Root canal treatment is very painful.
Fact – Nowadays with better anesthetic techniques, root canal treatment is almost become painless.

Myth – Root canal treatments require lot of visits to the dentist.
Fact – With newer techniques, single sitting root canal treatments are gaining rapid popularity.

Myth – Root canal treated teeth do not require crowns.
Fact – After the root canal treatment, the tooth may become brittle, hence it is necessary to crown such teeth. Also it ensures the fillings done after the root canal is complete do not get dislodged.

Myth – Even after doing a root canal, tooth will eventually come out.
Fact – After doing a proper root canal and maintaining proper oral hygiene the tooth can last you a lifetime.

Myth – If the tooth is not painful, there is no need for a root canal treatment.
Fact – Sometimes after the acute phase is over, the decayed tooth may not be painful. However if the infection is reached the tooth pulp/nerve then a root canal treatment is mandatory irrespective of whether the tooth is painful or not.

Myth – Expensive toothpastes are always better than cheaper ones.
Fact – Cost of a toothpaste is not related to its effectiveness.

Myth – A sugarless chewing gum along with xylitol after a meal can be a substitute to brushing.
Fact – There cannot be a substitute to mechanical cleaning of teeth with brushing.

Myth – If the tooth is white in color it is healthy.
Fact – A tooth can look healthy and white and still have many cavities and decayed areas, problems with the root that would require dental treatment.

Myth – Good dental health can be inherited.
Fact – Inheritance plays a minor role. Proper brushing is mandatory for good oral health.

Myth – It is better to remove the wisdom tooth because they usually cause problems.
Fact – Wisdom teeth need not be removed till they cause dental problems and become symptomatic.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that is not answered below? Feel free to give us a call and ask!

1. Why should I go to the dentist regularly? (Crisis treatment vs. preventive treatment)

Many people do not see a dentist on a regular basis. They go only when they have a problem. We call this “crisis treatment” as opposed to “preventive treatment.” While these patients may feel they are saving money, it usually ends up costing much more in both dollars and time. The reason for this is that most dental problems do not have any symptoms until they reach the advanced stages of the disease process. A simple example is tooth decay. We often hear, “Nothing hurts…I don’t have any problems.”

But tooth decay does not hurt! Until, that is, it gets close to the nerve of the tooth. By that time, root canal treatment followed by a post, buildup, and crown are often necessary, instead of the filling which could have been placed several years earlier when the cavity was just beginning to form. Your dentist can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a huge cavity and who has never felt a thing! This is why regular checkups are important – so why not schedule yours today?

2. Why should I floss, isn’t brushing enough?

You should floss to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. This bacteria lives in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria your toothbrush can’t get to. That’s the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. Brushing without flossing is like washing only half your face. The other half remains dirty.

If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth. Eventually it hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing. Only your dentist can remove tartar.

Ask your dentist to show you the proper way to floss. You will both notice the difference at your next cleaning appointment.

3. How can I get my kids to brush their teeth?

Make it fun! If you are enthusiastic about brushing your teeth, your children will also be enthusiastic. Children want to do the things their parents do. If your children see you brushing your teeth and displaying good dental habits, they will follow.

Checking Plaque Removal – To see if any plaque has been missed, you can use a disclosing (staining) tablet or solution. These products are made of harmless vegetable dyes that stain the plaque a bright color, so that you can see where the plaque is.

Begin to take your children to the dentist at an early age. All children should be seen by their 1st birthday or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. Ask your dentist for other creative ways to get children to brush their teeth.

4. How can I prevent cavities?

You can certainly minimize the number of cavities you get. Always spend two to three minutes brushing your teeth. It takes that long to get rid of the bacteria which destroy tooth enamel. Do not brush too hard. It takes very little pressure to remove bacteria and plaque. Floss at least once a day. It is the only way to get bacteria from between your teeth.

Watch the sugar you eat. There is sugar in candy, fruits, crackers and chips. These are the foods that the bacteria in your mouth like best. Be mindful of foods like raisins and peanut butter that stick to your teeth. They can provide a constant supply for the bacteria eating into your teeth. Try to minimize the times during the day when sweet items are eaten and clean your teeth afterwards.

If you cannot brush after a meal, rinse your mouth with water—which can help to remove food from your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can also help. Chewing stimulates the flow of saliva which acts as a natural plaque-fighting substance.Do not forget your regular dental visits. Good dental habits will go a long way toward a no-cavity visit.

5. Why does the dentist take X-rays?

Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when your dentist examines your mouth. An X-ray examination may reveal:
• small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
• infections in the bone
• periodontal (gum) disease
• abscesses or cysts
• developmental abnormalities
• some types of tumors

6. What are cavity-fighting sealants?

The American Dental Association points out sealants are an effective weapon in the arsenal against tooth decay. Sealants are a thin coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria.
Sealants have proven effective with both adults and children, but are most commonly used with children. Despite the fact that sealants are about half the cost of fillings, only a small percentage of school-aged children have sealants on their permanent teeth.

Ask your dentist whether sealants are a good choice for you or your children.

7. I knocked out a tooth, can it be saved?

Oral injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

• Attempt to find the tooth
• Rinse, do not scrub, the tooth to remove dirt or debris.
• Place the clean tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum or under your tongue
• Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket as this could cause further damage.
• Get to the dentist. Successful re-implantation is possible only when treatment is performed promptly

If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse it in milk.

8. What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Sensitivity toothpaste, which contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate are very effective in treating sensitive teeth. After a few weeks of use you may notice a decrease in sensitivity. Highly acidic foods such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, as well as tea and soda can increase tooth sensitivity, and work against any sensitivity toothpaste. If you do not get relief by brushing gently and using a desensitizing toothpaste, see your dentist. There are special compounds that can be applied in office to the roots of your tooth to reduce—if not eliminate—the sensitivity. High-fluoride containing home care products can also be recommended to help reduce tooth sensitivity.

9. What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent jaw bone destruction and possible tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies and pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. An advanced stage of periodontal disease exhibits inflamed gums pulling away from your bone and teeth. Other signs of periodontal disease include:

• Bad breath
• Red or swollen gums
• Loose teeth or teeth that have moved
• Sensitive teeth
• Pus coming from around the teeth
• Pain on chewing
• Tender gums
• Bleeding gums

Treatment of early periodontal disease can be performed in-office. However, advanced stages may require surgery. Periodontal disease can be prevented and treated successfully by seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly and following recommended care plans.

10. How long will the results of teeth whitening last?

Like other investments, if you whiten your teeth, the length of time you can expect it to last will vary. If you smoke, drink red wine or coffee, or consume other acid-containing foods, your bright smile may begin to yellow more quickly than you expect. In general, a teeth whitening procedure can last up to a few years. And even though the results can fade, occasional touch-ups can be done to regain luster.

11. What should I do about bleeding gums?

People often respond to bleeding gums with the wrong method of treatment. Usually, gums that bleed are a symptom of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. But often, people stop brushing frequently and effectively because it may be painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. Instead, when gums are inflamed, brushing often and effectively is imperative. More importantly, you should see your dentist to have a periodontal screening and recording performed in order to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue.

It is also worth noting that chronic dental pain and discomfort are obvious signs of a problem. Over-the-counter drugs may provide some temporary relief. These medications usually only mask the existence of a problem and should be taken on a temporary basis.

It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible if your gums begin to bleed.

12. Why do I have to take antibiotics before my dental appointment?

There are certain conditions that require pre-medication with an antibiotic prior to dental treatment to prevent adverse affects and infection that can be caused by bacteria that enter the blood stream during certain treatment. You will want to consult with your Dentist about this prior to treatment.