Surprising Myths About Dentistry (and Why They’re Wrong)

Visiting the dentist can be a little unnerving. Multiple studies and reports have shown that about 12 percent of adults have anxieties about visiting the dentist, and 4 percent don’t even bother with visits at all.

With all the negative associations that people have developed towards dentistry, it’s no wonder that some myths have been concocted and passed off as truth. These myths often help reinforce people’s “beliefs” thus giving them even more reasons to avoid the dentist.

In this article, we’ll be looking at these myths and busting them so that you can finally face your “fears” and get the dental care that you need.

Bleached Teeth are Weak

Quick question: Who doesn’t like having pearly white teeth? We know we do. Popular actors and actresses do too. However, you’ll probably find that brushing your teeth and flossing them all day may not be able to do the trick.

Other than injuring your gums and developing tooth sensitivity, you may not get the results that you need. However, thanks to dental technologies, you can whiten your teeth by having them bleached by a dentist or using one of the many teeth whitening kits that are available
over the counter.

The only problem with this is that some people think that bleaching their teeth will weaken them. Well, the fact is dental whitening procedures and kits don’t hurt or harm you if you use them as directed.

They are aimed solely at eliminating your teeth’s surface stains and removing some of the natural pigmentation. As with anything else, this should be done in moderation. Excess bleaching will result in translucent teeth.

Surprising Myths About Dentistry (and Why They're Wrong)

You Have Halitosis Because You Have Poor Oral Hygiene

This is not necessarily true. Sure, poor oral habits may be responsible for this if there are no underlying causes. But, considering that there are many causes of halitosis, you should dig a little deeper before reaching a conclusion.

For instance, the foods you eat can give you bad breath. Ingesting lots of onions and garlic will most assuredly give you incredibly repulsive bad breath. The same can be said about illnesses.

Oral cancer, pneumonia, periodontal disease, crowded teeth…these are just some of the ailments that could cause halitosis. As much as possible, make sure you brush twice a day, maybe chew sugar-free gums during the day when you’re at work and likely to keep your mouth closed for a long time, and visit the dentist at least twice a year and floss every day.

If you do these and still have bad breath or know someone who does, they need to see their dentist as the cause of their halitosis isn’t hygiene related.

Bleeding Gums Mean No Brushing

Bleeding gums are often a sign of excess plaque and food remnants that cause inflammation and, of course, bleeding. Flossing for the first time or after a while could also cause bleeding.

It would make sense to avoid brushing whenever your gums are bleeding. However, you would have to do the counterintuitive thing now that you know what the possible cause of the bleeding is. You should actually brush more — albeit gently — to get rid of the plaque and food that become stuck to your gum line.

If the gunk on your teeth is responsible for the bleeding, it should stop after a few days. If it doesn’t, book an appointment with your dentist so they can have a look at your teeth to determine what’s causing it.

As you might expect, myths don’t mean squat. If anything, they’re just fear-based assumptions with little or no facts to back them up. If you haven’t started already, develop and cultivate a good oral hygiene, visit your dentist more frequently and take good care of yourself. If you know it’s been a while since your last visit, bite the bullet and check out That way, you can keep your teeth for a good, long time.

Oscar King is a freelance writer and family man who contributes advice and insights into the challenges and concerns faced by families and homeowners.