More Dental Myths

Stone sculpture by Dr. Shapiro (Not a Myth)

This is the fourth of a five-part series on common dental myths. Through the many years of practicing dentistry I have heard many patients have repeatedly expressed the following dental myths and quotes. I hear some of these almost on a daily basis from well-meaning patients who struggle to make sense of all the information that is presented to them.  Read them and hopefully you will learn from them.  Understanding  the truth will help you make better decisions in the future.

16- Straight teeth will only give you a better smile. Straight teeth can give you that great smile but the benefits go way beyond that. Having straight teeth will give you a better bite which will lead to less wear of your teeth. A good bite where teeth glide instead of collide. This will lead to healthier gums and less enamel loss. They are also easier to keep clean.

17-A hard toothbrush is best- A soft toothbrush will get the job done as long as it is used daily. Plaque is easily removed by the soft bristles and they wont do any damage to you teeth or gums. Plaque left on your teeth turns to calculus (tarter) which is more difficult to remove.

18-I am brushing my gums away and wearing grooves in my teeth. Unlikely-receding gums and grooves in the neck of the tooth are often caused by a bad bite which is stressing out your teeth. Teeth are designed to take force in an up and down direction. If they are stressed sideways the bone and gums then break down. The teeth now flex under the stress and you get abfractions (a fancy way of saying grooves).

19. Replacing a missing tooth with an implant is more costly the  replacing the missing tooth with a bridge. In the short run this might be true, but when you consider that an implant supported tooth has a great probability of lasting a lifetime this is not true. Bridges are more difficult to maintain and if you have a problem with one tooth of a bridge you have a problem with the whole bridge. Replace any bridge twice and you have exceeded the cost of the implant tooth.

20-Denture adhesive is the best way to keep my dentures in my mouth. It is one way but definitely not the best. Today we can place two implants to help stabilize a denture and keep it from bouncing around and causing more bone loss. Often you can retrofit your original dentures to accept the implants.  It is a quality of life issue for today and especially for the future.

Link to Last of the Dental Myths

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