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Common Dental Misconceptions

Taking care of your teeth means that you have to know the difference between reality and misconceptions. If you have questions about proper dental care, discuss your concerns with your general dentist because failing to maintain good oral hygiene practices may cause damage to your teeth and gums. Here are some common dental misconceptions you should know about.

Diet Soft Drinks Are Good For Your Teeth

While diet soft drinks are sugar-free, they are very acidic and can raise your risk for enamel erosion. When the enamel on your teeth weakens as a result of acid erosion, bacterial invaders can easily gain entry into your tooth, causing cavities.

When enamel is strong and healthy, cavity-causing bacteria are less likely to infiltrate your teeth. In addition to diet soft drinks, other acidic drinks that can cause enamel erosion include citrus juice and coffee. The artificial sweeteners in sugar-free soda can also cause dry mouth and bad breath.

When your mouth gets too dry, you may be at a higher risk for cavities. Dry mouth often happens when your salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva to wash away cavity-causing bacteria. If you drink diet soda talk to your dentist about using an enamel-protective toothpaste, and if you have dry mouth, your dentist can recommend a mouthwash to help stimulate salivary flow.

You Shouldn't Floss If Your Gums Bleed

People often stop flossing their teeth when their gums bleed because flossing makes them bleed more. Bleeding gums are caused by inflammation and gum disease and when hardened plaque and bacteria hide in between the teeth gum tissue becomes inflamed. When this happens your gums may bleed from the slightest touch. Never stop flossing even if your gums bleed because the more you floss the cleaner your gum line will get and inflammation will decrease.

Flossing regularly enhances gum health and eventually your gums will stop bleeding. If your gums bleed despite good oral hygiene, see both your physician and your dentist. Bleeding gums in the absence of gingivitis may be caused by prescription anticoagulant medications or by certain platelet disorders, diabetes, or autoimmune disorders. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding common dental misconceptions or myths, discuss them with your general dentist. One thing is for sure, however. You should visit your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and professional cleanings, which will help stave off gum disease, cavities, and even acid erosion.