april post

Common Dental Misconceptions

In the 16th century of France a story traced back according to Georgian calendar lead to the change in dates of celebration, since proposed date was unaccepted by all, although officially declared. Old Julian calendar was followed by many people, known as fools. The per-Christian group was celebrating in april1st, instead of May was also considered as fools. On this particular day, people played pranks and jokes, that resulted in misconceptions. These misconceptions related to dental tale lead to anxiety, doubts and suffer from dental disease. In the era of modern and advance dentistry, the misconceptions of dental treatment procedure are still prevailing in common public. The misconception is sometimes baseless, may be from someone else beliefs, or experiences, at times perception and interpretation by analytical thinking of experiences undergone, so various factors involve in forming a belief of individual. Here are some of the common misconception and facts of dental and its treatment procedures.

  1. Oral cleaning by scaling of teeth loosens, abrades the teeth and widens between the teeth

Fact: Scaling is a procedure of removal of calculus (tartar) and plaque surrounded around the teeth and gum line, and it relieves from eating bone around the tooth gums by bacterial flora. During scaling, when calculus is removed from the attachment of calculus to the teeth, in case if the tooth is already shaky then as soon as it is removed feels loosened and also feels the gap between the teeth, after some days it heals to certain extent based on severity. The other aspect of false belief is abrading the teeth because everything within limit sounds always good, since the scaling procedure has to be done 6 months once rather than at regular intervals. Incase of severe gum disease scaling has to be undergone 3 to 4 months interval.

  1. Extraction of teeth affects the eyes

Fact: The eyes are not affected by extraction of teeth since there is no direct connection between the eyes and tooth.If the upper teeth are decayed and infected, only if it is spreads beyond the space of sinus cavity, then the swelling of eyes is seen since there is connection between infection and eye, but not to extracted teeth.

  1. I, always brush my teeth 2- 3 times a day still cavities has occurred
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Fact: The teeth brushing 2-3 times day doesn’t prevent caries since caries occurrence in the tooth depends on many factors like genetics, diet like sugary candies, pastries, cookies, saliva, medications(antidepressants, antipsychotics, Bp control drugs).

Genes play as a primary determinant role for development of tooth, the structure of Enamel varies among individuals, the softer the enamel causes the tooth to decay. Sugary diet like pastries, candy, cookies etc causes acids and attack the teeth results into tooth decay.

Saliva play a role in causation of caries, when the pH of saliva in the oral cavity becomes neutral at 6.5 to 7.5, and caries formation occurs when the pH becomes at 5.5 and the root at 6.0.

The medications of antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and BP controller drugs causes tooth decay due to dryness of mouth called as xerostomia where the saliva is reduced henceforth bacterial count is increased results to decay of tooth

  1. Hard method of brushing teeth whitens in colour.

Fact: The tooth is generally white in colour, as the age progresses, certain medications, eating, drinking like tea ,coffee,beverages etc causes the  tooth yellow in colour .Brushing hard , wears of the enamel and causes tiny cracks and crevices by that debris and plaque gets deposited and the dentin is exposed so hard brushing never causes the tooth to be whitened in colour.

  1. As soon as cavitated tooth is treated, thereafter no decay occurs for life time.

Fact: The restored tooth after some years forms a secondary caries due to microleakage and cracks in the restoration, poor oral hygiene also results into secondary caries so restored tooth has to be again consulted during regular visits by dentist.

  1. Bad odour occurs even after brushing teeth properly.

Fact: Bad odour in the mouth is known as halitosis. The causes of halitosis is due to diabetes,lung disease, respiratory tract infection, Kidney disease, cancer etc, diet like onion ,garlic,poor oral hygiene due to gum diseases causes tartar and debris deposition, Beverages like tea, coffee, etc causes stains .

Dry mouth due to reduced saliva, snoring, long period of time, speaking etc. So, consulting dentist would definitely diagnose the cause and treats the underlying cause and henceforth relieves from bad odour.

  1. Eating chocolates and sugary sweets decays the teeth

Fact: The decays of tooth occurs when the sugar turns into acid, on the surface of enamel becomes weak and results into cavities Chocolates and sweets contain high amount of sugar so after eating swishing the mouth would be of great help

  1. Drinking hot tea or coffee harms the teeth.
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Fact: Depending on the amount of intake and also quantity of sugar consumed by the drink results into stains so after consuming it is an good advice to drink water or rinse with water for better results

  1. Eating hot or cold meals affects the teeth.

Fact: Generally eating hot or cold meals doesn’t harm. Only in case of enamel wear off then the sensitivity of tooth is experienced otherwise not.

  1. Whitening of teeth doesn’t remain whiten in appearance for longer period of time

Fact: Whitening of teeth remains for a longer period of time only when the intake of beverages like tea coffee, wine etc is less .If the intake of bevarages are consumed more number of times in a day then it causes stains and longevity of whitening reduces certainly.

  1. Avoiding visiting dentist during pregnancy.

Fact: During pregnancy regular dental visits is always good but undergoing x rays, surgical procedures, Elective surgeries and cosmetic procedures are restricted. Usually second trimester holds good for undergoing cavity fillings and crowns.

  1. It is unnecessary to visit dentist for decayed baby teeth, since in few years it falls out.

Fact: Baby teeth are important since they provide a pathway for the permanent to erupt. In case of decayed baby teeth if it left untreated the cavities will lead to abscess and causes pain and discomfort, affects the permanent teeth .As soon as the baby teeth emerges visiting dentist at regular intervals is ideal for healthy teeth.

  1. Dental procedural treatments are painful.

Fact: It’s a myth that all dental procedures are painful if in case of severity, the dental procedures are done under local anaesthesia, so that the procedures are pain free

  1. Wearing dentures all the time.

Fact: Wearing dentures is not recommended during sleep hours. It is always good to remove the dentures and soak in the denture solution and also by removing in the night, Gums and bones relaxes and avoids the bacteria affecting it.

  1. Braces are not for adults.

Fact: Many people are in a myth that braces are only for kids and teenagers, but it is also placed for adults if the bone around the tooth is strong and healthy

  1. Only when there is pain visit dentist.
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Fact: Many people avoid dentist unless the severity in the pain increases they never visit dentist. Every 6 months regular visits to dentists are practiced then the oral health will be in healthy status. The pain in the oral cavity depends on various factors and also for like gum abscess, tooth abscess. It can be assessed only when thorough check up is done

  1. Eating sugarless chewing gum whitens teeth.

Fact: Sugarless chewing gum never whitens the teeth but to certain extent it prevents the tooth decay, since it increases the saliva , and reduces the acid attack on the teeth.

  1. After every meal usage of tooth pick widens the gap between the teeth.

Fact: The widening between the teeth depends on conditions prevailing in the oral cavity like it may be due to gum disease or caries in between the tooth etc. Usage of tooth pick is not recommended by dentist since it may injure the gums and soft tissue. It is always good to use dental floss for cleaning between the teeth and henceforth it doesn’t widen the tooth.

  1. Gum Bleeding is common for everybody after brushing.

Fact: It is uncommon for everybody only if the individual is suffering from gum disease then bleeding in the gums after brushing is seen, and by undergoing Oral cleaning by scaling is an effective method for gum disease

  1. Root canal is painful treatment.

Fact: Root canal treatment is a pain free procedure, since it is done under local anaesthesia, and the tooth is anaesthetised and helps to undergo the treatment with ease. It is always better to have the right beliefs rather than being in misconceptions. Never allow these misconceptions to affect like fools since it prevents from having a healthy dental status. Before accepting any dental misconception better to consult a dentist and properly follow instructions recommended by them, so that it helps to relieve from doubts and fears about dental health.

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DISCLAIMER : “Views expressed above are the author’s own.”


  • Dr. Rashmi B j is a Dental surgeon, practicing in Bangalore from past 9 years, passionate in writing health article of dentistry as well as self - help topics and currently rendering service as a practitioner.

Dr. Rashmi B j is a Dental surgeon, practicing in Bangalore from past 9 years, passionate in writing health article of dentistry as well as self - help topics and currently rendering service as a practitioner.

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