Perhaps you think you know everything about dental health. You live by what has been instilled in your mind for almost half of your lifetime thinking that you haven’t done wrong in taking care of your oral health. The last time I checked, I did the same--been there, done that. What I found out sooner are things that I need to painstakingly admit, things that I need to swallow inside my system because facts always win over myths. Yes. I lived for years in ignorance about dental health. I don’t intend to play dentist here, but I want to share what I found out--before it’s too late for you. Here are a few ones:
What my aunt said: Crush an aspirin using mortar and pestle until it becomes powdery. Put enough amount of crushed aspirin on an aching tooth. It will relieve you of toothache more quickly.
What my dentist made clear: It’s a myth! Tablets (which aspirin isn’t an exception) are designed to be taken in to take effect. There isn’t any shortcut for it, and this is how it works. Once taken in, aspirin stops the production of pain-causing molecules called prostaglandins. There isn’t any short cut to make it work. Furthermore, aspirin (crushed or not) directly placed on tooth triggers a painful sensation of gums caused by an acidic chemical making it burn.
What my neighbor said: Bad breath is caused by poor brushing habits. The more you brush your teeth, the more pleasant your breath will be. The lesser you brush, the more prone you are to having that bad breath everybody avoids on having.
What my dentist made clear: It’s a myth! Poor brushing and flossing habit isn’t the only villain you need to fight against having bad breath or halitosis. In fact, there are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration. 1) The food you take. You cannot easily shoo away the foul odor of garlic and onion by simply brushing and flossing. Eating too much of those spices will only fail the perfection of your dental standards. The best way to get rid of that undesirable mouth odor is to minimize intake of bad-breath causing foods. Intake of peanuts and apples could do much help. 2) Digestive and/or respiratory illnesses. This is because our mouth is directly connected with some parts of our digestive and respiratory systems. Pneumonia, sinus infections, etc. 3) Gum diseases can contribute to halitosis as well.
What my mother’s relatives said: Do not bleach your teeth if you don’t want them to weaken. Notice that yellow-ish color? That is our teeth’s natural color; it is a sign of strength.
What my dentist made clear: It’s a myth! Teeth whitening products do not harm your teeth as long directions are strictly followed. However, too much usage of such products, like strips and toothpastes, might possibly make your teeth translucent. Also, too much of it may cause sensitive teeth and gum irritation.
There you have it! Don’t be too naïve about your dental health if it truly matters to you. Ask your own dentist in Washington DC if you want more affirmation about the things I’ve mentioned, I won’t get offended.
The Dental Myth Buster