However, although dentists are without a doubt trustworthy and honest, there are plenty of things that they don’t tell us or want us to know about. Sometimes this might be because of the fact that they do not consider it important for the general public to know, whilst in other instances, it might be because of misinformation or a misunderstanding on the dentist’s part.
15. Dentists Aren’t Always Up To Date
Unfortunately, not every dentist puts in the work to stay up to date on all these new techniques, ideas, materials and knowledge. The most professional practitioners generally put in more than 150 hours of development every year to ensure that they are not being left behind. If you feel worried that your dentist isn’t continuing their education in the field, then make sure to ask about whether they are engaged in programs, as they are unlikely to tell you without being prompted.
14. Saliva Is Really Important
“The buffering effects of saliva, the ability of saliva to counter the bad effects of sugar,” says Howard Pollick, a San Francisco-based dentist, “means if you don’t have enough saliva, you will have a real problem.”
People with naturally dry mouths or who are taking certain medications that inhibit saliva production are at risk of a variety of problems. Fortunately, drinking plenty of water and buying specialist products can help to combat this.
13. They Should Be On The Lookout For Other Health Issues
Some of the health issues that a dentist can keep a look out for include heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Periodontal disease can be an important indicator for both heart disease and diabetes, two problems that are vital to catch early in order for treatment to be effective. This means that a dentist could have a more pivotal role in keeping you healthier than you realized.
12. Dentists Even Check For Cancer
Having regular dental checkups can also be helpful in this matter as it means the dentist is likely to spot any problems very early and allow treatment to be more effective, giving the patient a much better chance of overcoming the illness. For this reason, dentists are specifically trained to spot the early signs and know who to refer you to in the event they find something worrying.
11. Dental Equipment Can Be Very Dangerous
Some common causes of injuries often involve patients suddenly jerking or moving while in the chair. If the dentist is unprepared for this type of sudden movement, they can easily be caught off guard and accidentally injure the inside of the mouth with clamps or drills. Considering the apprehension that many people feel about going to visit the dentist, this type of injury is far more commonplace than you would expect.
10. The Foam In Toothpaste Doesn’t Do Anything
The foam that accompanies toothpaste is the result of a foaming agent known as sodium lauryl sulfate. Most companies include it in their mixture as a surfactant as it allows a person to spread the toothpaste around the teeth that little bit more easily, yet it has no real effect on the cleaning process. The texture is simply associated with a feeling of cleanliness and customers prefer it to toothpaste without foaming agents, as they believe that it makes their mouths feel cleaner.
9. Your Dental Work May Be Outsourced To A Foreign Lab
While the vast majority of work done by any dental lab will be done to international standards, there have been cases where foreign laboratories have used cut-rate materials to create dentures, bridges, and other fillings or equipment. What is most shocking is that some facilities in countries such as China, may even use materials such as lead or other hazardous elements.
8. Too Much Fluoride Is Bad For You
Some research has suggested that too much fluoride can actually damage teeth, cause stains, and contribute to the weakening of enamel. With the inclusion of fluoride in more products such as mouthwash, and the fact that it often is mixed in with drinking water, it is quite possible that some people are getting far more fluoride than they need, putting themselves at risk.
7. You Shouldn’t Try To Hide Bad Breath
So, despite how much you think you may be doing your dentist a favor by trying to get rid of your bad breath, it is best to keep your natural smell in most instances. This will allow the practitioner to quickly make assessments and see whether they need to investigate any potential issues.
6. Whitening Teeth Can Cause Problems
There are plenty of risks associated with the practice, though. Many beauty salons and unregistered practitioners will carry out teeth whitening procedures despite the fact that they are not trained to do so. This can put patients at risk of oral hygiene issues that could cause tooth decay. Meanwhile, even if done by professionals, there is a serious risk of gums reacting to the chemicals involved, leading to burns, irritation and swelling.
5. You Don’t Need To See Them Every Six Months
The truth of the matter, though, is that going every six months is completely unnecessary for the vast majority of people. How regularly you go to your dentist is completely dependent on how good your oral hygiene is. For some, this may mean that they need to go more often, especially if they have a recurring problem, while others could wait for up to two years before having to organize another visit.
4. Toothbrushes Should Be Changed Every 3 Months
In fact, most health organizations and dental practices will recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. The reason for this is twofold. The bristles wear away over time, making them much less effective at cleaning gums and teeth as they spread apart and thin out. Additionally, toothbrushes are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and if they aren’t replaced on a regular basis, they can cause infections and other problems.
3. They Don’t Always Have The Latest Equipment
Unfortunately, these devices can be incredibly expensive. The cost-prohibitive nature of these new pieces of technology can mean that some practitioners aren’t prepared to spend the money to get them, leaving their patients having to put up with less effective options.
2. You Shouldn’t Rinse Out Your Mouth After Brushing
This belief has probably arisen from the fact that all packets of toothpaste list a warning not to swallow the mixture. Rinsing can actually be harmful as it removes the fluoride and other ingredients that have been put on the surface of the tooth, stopping them from protecting the enamel and killing bacteria effectively. The longer these materials are left on the teeth, the better they are at preventing decay. For the same reason, people shouldn’t use mouthwash immediately after brushing as this will also rinse away the important ingredients.
1. There’s No Evidence That Flossing Has Any Benefits
Earlier this year, the Associated Press carried out an investigation and asked several government departments for the evidence that they had about the positive effects of flossing. This led to the organizations dropping the recommendation, while a look at previous studies revealed that most data was weak and unreliable. Dental experts have since revealed that there hasn’t been enough research into flossing and that large-scale studies would have to be carried out to verify that floss can remove plaque and food while keeping the mouth healthy.