From the moment we get our first baby teeth, we are bombarded with all sorts of dental advice - some are based on facts, while others are nothing but myths. The adviser's intentions are usually good, but if it's incorrect, it can lead to bad habits that may actually be bad for your teeth and your overall oral health.
It can be tough to figure out what is fact and what is fiction, but it’s important to know the truth so you can take care of your teeth the right way, especially during your Invisalign clear aligner treatment. Here are 5 common dental myths debunked!
Dental myth 1: Sugar causes cavities
Let's start with a big one! Anyone with teeth (that's most of us) has been told at some stage that eating sugar is bound to cause cavities. Now we're not here to unveil a big conspiracy against sugar - the sweet stuff can absolutely be bad for your teeth - however, you might not know the full story.
It's not the sugar itself that's the problem, but rather the bacteria that feed on it1 if the sugar sticks to your teeth. These bacteria release acids that eat away at tooth enamel, causing cavities. So while you don't have to swear off sugar entirely, it's important to brush and floss regularly to remove the harmful bacteria before they have a chance to do their damage.
When it comes to teeth straightening, Invisalign clear aligners are removable so when you eat you don’t have to worry about those sugary treats getting caught in wires or brackets.
Dental myth 2: Brushing your teeth harder will make them cleaner
This is a myth that can actually do more harm than good. When you brush too hard, you can damage your tooth enamel and even wear down your gums2. This can lead to sensitivity, gum recession, and even tooth loss over time.
The best way to clean your teeth is not necessarily by scrubbing harder, but by using the right technique, toothbrush. and toothpaste for your needs. There are many different types of toothbrushes on the market, so ask your doctor for their recommendation to find one that is comfortable for you to use and that will get the job done without being too harsh on your teeth and gums.
As for toothpaste, there are also many different kinds with various ingredients that can be beneficial for your teeth. Talk to your dentist about what might be best for you and your oral health needs.
During teeth straightening with braces, brushing and flossing can be challenging. With removable Invisalign clear aligners there is nothing to get in the way of brushing - just take them out and pop them back in once finished!
Dental myth 3: You only need to visit the dentist if you have a problem
This is definitely a myth! Even if you take great care of your teeth at home, it is recommended to visit the dentist at least every 6 months for your routine professional teeth cleanings and check-ups to ensure your dentist can spot any problems before they become serious.
If you plan to straighten your teeth or do any kind of orthodontic treatment, any undiscovered complication might cause problems. Invisalign is one of the most advanced clear aligner system in the world and your Invisalign dentist will help to check your entire dental and oral health before starting your teeth straightening journey.
Overall, don’t wait until there is a problem to see the dentist - by then it might be too late and you could be facing more serious (and expensive) dental work.
Dental myth 4: Healthy teeth are always white
A lot of people think that the whiter their teeth are, the healthier they must be. But this isn't always the case.
Teeth can become stained for many reasons, such as smoking, drinking coffee or tea, or simply due to aging. And while it's important to take care of your teeth and avoid things that can lead to staining, it's also important to remember that not all stains can be removed.
So if you're obsessing over getting your teeth super white, you might be doing more harm than good. There are many different whitening products on the market, but some of them may cause increased tooth sensitivity or other damage3. It's best to speak to your dentist first before doing a whitening treatment, so you can find out what is safe and effective for your particular needs.
Can you whiten your teeth during Invisalign treatment? Definitely – speak with your Invisalign doctor to find out what may be options.
Dental myth 5: You are too old to fix misaligned teeth
This is another common myth that can lead to many people not getting the dental work they need. Many people believe that if they have misaligned teeth, it's too late to fix them - but this isn't always true.
Invisalign treatment has been prescribed to millions of patients4 of different age groups for over 2 decades. In fact, Invisalign treatment is often preferred by adults, as it's discreet to the point of being virtually invisible, making it a great option for people who don't necessarily want people to know they are having their teeth straightened.
If you've put off straightening your teeth because of dental issues like underbites, overbites, crowded teeth, or gaps, Invisalign treatments may be able to help.
And let's not forget the gift of confidence that straighter teeth can give to an adult who has long suffered from misaligned teeth - Invisalign treatment means you don't have to feel self-conscious about your smile, whatever your age.
There are many dental myths out there that can lead to confusion about oral health. While we've done our best to separate fact from fiction in this short article, it's always best to check with a qualified dentist before you start any kind of treatment. Your dental needs are unique, so you deserve to be well informed to maintain your oral health as best as you can.
If you think you could benefit from straighter teeth, whether it be for oral health or just your own confidence, you can find an Invisalign doctor near you at our Find a Doctor page.
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