When it comes to periodontal health, there are a lot of things that most people don’t know—not due to ignorance, but some of them are undisclosed by dental professionals. Here, we will discuss ten of these oral health secrets, so you can change the way you treat your mouth accordingly.
Let us begin with the first one.
1. Most people need to visit the dentist more
The general consensus is that we should visit the dentist for general check-ups and cleaning once every six months or twice a year. However, that rule only applies to people with healthy teeth and gums, and the harsh truth is, most of us don’t.
There are many possible periodontal issues without any visible symptoms. Some are even not associated with any pain which we will discuss next.
2. Don’t wait until it hurts
It’s wrong to assume that if nothing hurts in your mouth, you are perfectly fine. However, it is a very common misconception even among very smart and sophisticated people.
After all, even cancer might not hurt until it has entered the terminal stage, as well as various diseases— a fact well-known by most people—. Yet, we somehow think that the mouth, and periodontal health, are separated from the rest of the body.
This is why periodical dental check-up is also important, especially considering the fact that oral diseases can contribute to various terminal diseases like diabetes and heart issues, among others.
3. Why soda and sugar destroy your teeth
Sugar doesn’t directly decay the teeth. However, our mouth releases a special enzyme to break down this sugar, which will increase our mouth’s acidity. It is the acid that will corrode and damage the teeth, causing decay and cavities.
Sodas, on the other hand, contains both sugar and acids, and this is why they are particularly dangerous for your teeth.
4. Why your teeth are whiter after a dental visit
Yes, some dental cleaning processes and especially teeth whitening procedure can dramatically whiten the teeth. However, there is another layer to this: dehydration will cause your teeth to appear whiter than usual—temporarily—
During your dental visit, we often open the mouth for hours, which will, of course, lead to dehydration. So, when you are taking a cleaning or whitening procedure, have a higher expectation than you should.
5. Teeth bleaching will thin your teeth
Bleaching the teeth to often can thin the enamel—the white surface of your teeth—. As a result, the teeth can lose their white color and become more translucent, which will, in turn, require other dental procedures like dental veneer.
This is also why getting your teeth whitened by professionals is preferred than the at-home alternatives. How often is too often? In general, a yearly bleaching treatment at the dentist is sufficient, where you can touch up with at-home treatments once every few months. As a general rule of thumb, don’t use at-home whitening treatments for more than two consecutive weeks.
6. Dealing with bad breath
Brushing regularly twice a day, sadly, is not enough if you already suffer from bad breath. If the bad breath issue is caused by plaque, flossing daily can help the issue, and get your teeth cleaned professionally by a dentist every few months.
Also, mouthwash with alcohol can dehydrate your mouth. Meaning, you’ll get that minty breath for half an hour or so, and then the bad breath issue can be worse than before.
Bad breath can be caused by various health issues and bad diet, so consult your dentist if you have a persistent bad breath.
7. The truth about toothbrush maintenance
In most cases, UV-sanitation devices for your toothbrush and other tools to clean out germs are unnecessary. Unless you are sharing the toothbrush with others (even family members), simply rinsing the toothbrush after each use and let it air dry is sufficient.
In short, don’t stress out too much about this.
8. Mothers, your oral hygiene can affect your baby
Bacteria that cause tooth decay and cavity can spread through saliva. Mothers often taste the baby’s food and use the same spoon for the baby, putting your baby at risk.
So, if you are a mother of a toddler or newborn, take extra care about our oral health. Make a visit to the dentist and get your teeth cleaned, it will benefit you and the baby both.
Also, don’t underestimate baby teeth. It’s common for parents not to pay enough attention to the baby teeth, because, after all, they will be replaced by permanent ones. However, when a baby tooth is prematurely extracted—due to abscess or cavities—, the gap they left might affect the growth of the adjacent teeth, which can cause a long-term issue.
9. Amalgam fillings are safe
There has been a lot of rumors surrounding silver (amalgam) fillings and mercury. Yes, they do release small amounts of mercury every day due to the movements in the mouth. However, only after 300 fillings or so that the mercury levels become slightly dangerous.
Also, getting the metal feelings out can release even more mercury, so it’s best to leave them in if you already have them.
Yes, composite fillings won’t produce mercury, but they are not as durable, which can cost more money in the long run.
10. Finance issues are very common cause or dental negligence
A single dental implant can cost more than $1,000, and most insurance companies won’t cover it. Also, even some of those very few insurance companies that cover dental treatments will only cover around $1,000-$1,500 every year—this is a similar limit to 2 decades ago—.
Most people fear to go to the dentist because they know that it’s going to be expensive, and they can’t afford it. The sad fact is, it’s often true. So, take your dental care seriously and if you can, find an insurance company that will cover at least the essential dental treatments (with a reasonable limit).
As you can see, getting a dental professional that you can trust and actually cares about your health—and not just your money— is very important. Communicate with your dentist, ask the important questions, and don’t be afraid to try a few dentists until you can find the one that suits your preferences.
About The Author:
Mary Wong is a part-time copywriter, health blogger, and full-time dental assistant. With over 12 years of experience working in the dental industry, Mary is happy to share her passion and experience with others.