Whether you’re 80 or 8, good oral health is the foundation of good overall health. Most adults say they plan to visit the dentist within the coming year, but only 37 percent of adults have actually seen their dentist within the last year.
Remember this: If your teeth aren’t healthy, your overall health could suffer.
Developing your own routine or ritual for maintaining oral health at home is key. Start with the basics: brush and floss twice a day for a few minutes. If it’s a habit, you’ll keep doing it.
The same way it’s important to check in with your primary care physician for an annual physical, it’s important to visit the dentist. Even if nothing hurts and your teeth feel fine—don’t wait until you’re in pain or there’s a problem.
In fact, your dentist can see signs of diseases like sleep apnea, cancer or diabetes just by looking in your mouth. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, don’t be afraid to go back. Today’s dentistry isn’t like it was when you or your parents were kids—it’s more technologically advanced and much less scary.
In Episode 57, Dr. G and his guest, Keven Wells, DDS, dispel the myths about dentistry and share inside information about what dentists can see in your mouth, the best tools and techniques (should you brush your tongue?) and how checkups can keep you healthy.
Myths vs. Facts
“Sugar causes cavities.” - Fact
Sugar is one of the culprits, but it’s not the only thing that causes cavities. It’s the plaque that builds up on your teeth, which is fed by sugar.
“Bleeding gums are normal.” - Myth
Bleeding gums is usually a sign that something’s going on, ranging from gingivitis to early periodontal disease.
“Brushing harder cleans better.” - Myth
This is counterproductive. The harder you brush, the more trauma your tooth enamel endures.
“Flossing is not necessary.” - Myth
If you’re just brushing your teeth, you’re only cleaning 3 out of 5 surfaces of your teeth.
“Chewing gum works like brushing.” - Myth
Chewing gum is not a replacement for brushing your teeth.
“White teeth are healthy teeth.” - Myth
White teeth can still have unhealthy gum tissue.
“Charcoal toothpaste is better.” - Myth
Charcoal toothpaste is too abrasive for regular toothbrushing.
“Kids don’t need to brush baby teeth.” - Myth
If kids learn at an early age to make good oral care a habit, they’ll continue to do it as they get older. Baby teeth are also placeholders for adult teeth, so it can be a problem if they lose them early because of cavities.
“If you have no oral health concerns, there’s no need for an exam.” - Myth
Going in for regular dental checkups will help you stay on top of your oral health, as dentists can see things in your mouth that you may not be able to.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
“Every time I head to the beach, it is a beautiful reminder to slow down and be present.” – C.T.