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Woman brushing teethA large majority of adults don’t look forward to visiting their dentist. In fact, 12 percent of adults in the U.S. have dental anxiety. While it is true that going to the dentist isn’t exactly a top priority on everyone’s to-do list, it really isn’t as bad as some people make it seem. Modern medications and technology make going to the dentist a virtually pain-free experience. However, common dental misconceptions that people have cause them to fear going to the dentist.

I’m sure you’ve probably had plenty of dental questions you’ve wanted to ask your dentist but didn’t get the chance to. Here are some of the most common dental myths and misconceptions:

1. Bleaching Can Weaken Teeth. Sometimes, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly just doesn’t cut it. Many people consider bleaching their teeth to get the pearly whites they’ve always wanted. However, some worry that the act of bleaching will weaken the enamel of their teeth, causing irreversible damage. So is this true? Not necessarily. If used correctly, bleaching products are harmless. Teeth bleaching only affects the color of your teeth, by removing pigmentation. It doesn’t not affect the strength of your teeth.

2. Soft Teeth Cause Cavities. The enamel that covers the teeth above the gum line is the hardest substance in the human body. Cavities are caused by acid produced by bacteria that eats away at the enamel. The missing enamel or soft spot of the tooth is the cavity, the tooth itself isn’t soft.

3. Chewing Gum is Bad for Your Teeth. This has some partial truth to it. Chewing gum produces extra saliva which is your body’s natural way of rinsing away food particles and neutralizing acid. The sugar found in gum can feed harmful bacteria. So, if you stick to sugar-free gum, you shouldn’t have to worry about gum causing you cavities.

4. Bad Breath Means Bad Oral Hygiene. Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, one of which can be poor oral hygiene. The food you eat can have a large part to do with your breath. Foods such as garlic, onion, and others leave strong odors behind. Certain illnesses can give you bad breath as well. As long as your practice proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist twice a year, you shouldn’t have to worry about bad breath.

5. Fluoride is Unsafe. A number of people believe that fluoride does more harm than good. However, a recent study showed that adding fluoride to a community’s drinking water reduced the level of tooth decay. Numerous studies show that a safe amount of fluoride in drinking water is harmless. Fluoride becomes dangerous if ingested at unsafe amounts. In order to be poisoned by fluoride, you would have to drink between 5,000 to 10,000 glasses of water.

When it comes to your dental health, not knowing the difference between what is true and what isn’t true can be harmful in some cases. Contact Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today. We have all the answers to your dental questions.