As a family dentist in Greenwood, we treat patients with a variety of oral health problems. The first thing we do is identify what the problem is, create a plan for treating it, and then help our patients prevent the problem from reoccurring. This involves educating our patients about what they can do to improve their oral health. Very often, this involves debunking popular myths so we can set them on the path toward habits that are genuinely healthy, not just perceived to be. With that in mind, here are a few common oral health myths we hear.
Myth – Only older men get oral cancer.
As a family dentist in Greenwood, we know that men over the age of fifty are at the greatest risk of getting oral cancer, but they are not the only ones. Oral cancer impacts men and women of all ages, claiming one life a day. People who smoke, use chewing tobacco, drink a lot of alcohol, are exposed to too much sun, or have the HPV virus are at great risk for developing the condition. If you fall into any of these categories, we encourage you to have an oral cancer screening on an annual basis.
Myth – Adults who did not get cavities as a child will not get them as adults.
If this were true, there would be fewer adults with cavities. While your past oral health can be an indicator of future health trends, this does not preclude you from getting cavities now. You still need to eat a healthy diet, brush your teeth two to three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and visit our office for a bi-annual teeth cleaning. As a family dentist in Greenwood, we can help your teeth to remain healthy so you will not get cavities in the future.
Myth – It is safe to whiten teeth with a lemon.
Nope. If you use a lemon to whiten your teeth, it will brighten them, but also hurt them. Lemons are highly acidic, and any time you apply acid directly to your teeth, it can lead to the erosion of your enamel. The enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth, and you only have a limited amount of it. Once the enamel is gone, your teeth can become overly sensitive. There is no reason to take this risk since you can have your teeth whitened at our office. As a family dentist in Greenwood, we can do so in a way that is safe and effective.
Myth – Root canals are only for infected teeth.
We also perform root canals when a root become damaged. This can happen due to grinding your teeth at night, being in an accident, or having too much dental work done in quick succession. We encourage you to be careful with your teeth, but if you ever do need a root canal, we can complete it quickly and without causing you irritation.