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Everyone knows those weird, old wives’ tales: ‘don’t go outside with wet hair or you’ll get a cold’, or ‘don’t leave your purse on the floor or you’ll lose money’, or even ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. But did you know there are dental myths that we adhere to as well? Stay tuned and figure out which part of your dental routine is a good myth and which part has been busted!

‘I only need to see a dentist when my teeth hurt.’

False! If you only go to the dentist when your teeth are causing you pain, you have missed the whole point! Dentists exist to help us keep our mouth and teeth healthy. Regular cleanings and exams help prevent serious problems like tooth decay and even types of cancer. Plus, waiting until you have a serious problem often ends up being more expensive than the regular cleaning cost. Even if you are a brush-and-floss-and-mouthwash twice a day person, it’s still important to see a dentist at least twice a year!

‘Diet sodas are better than regular sodas because they have no sugars!’

False! Although most diet sodas lack the sugar content that is a major factor in causing cavities, they tend to be highly acidic! The acid in these diet sodas has just as much of a damaging effect on your teeth as lemons, orange juice, and coffee! On the pH scale, which measures acidity in everyday items on a scale of 0-10, diet sodas fall in the 2-3 range. Keep in mind that water is neutral at 7 and battery acid sits at 0. We all want to watch our waistlines, but keep your smile in mind the next time you go out to dinner or brunch!

‘Chewing gum after a meal is just as effective as brushing!’

False, but also a little true! I know, it’s weird. Chewing gum after a meal can help you cut down on the build up of plaque and tartar in the mouth. But be sure it’s sugar free! Smacking on sugary gum for hours can actually lead to the formation of cavities. Just make sure you don’t replace regular brushing with gum! Nothing is as effective for tooth health as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly.

‘I brush and floss every night! I don’t need to see a dentist.’

False! Even those of us who are religious in our dental care routines still need to see a dentist. We’d all like to think that our dentist would just look at our sparkling teeth, pat us on the shoulder, and say “keep up the good work”, right? Well that’s not all that happens at a regular dental check-up. Dentists routinely keep an eye on gum health, screen for preventable diseases, and find things that might be wrong that we aren’t even aware of!

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