Myths and facts about dental care

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Is scaling bad for teeth? Are cavities caused only by sugar? An expert separates fact from myth.

Tanvir Singh, consultant orthodontist at Dentem, the Dental and Orthodontic Clinic, busts a few myths around dental care:

Myth 1: Scaling is not good for teeth.

Fact: Scaling removes tartar and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Scaling and deep cleaning of gums prevent the problem of bad breath and bleeding gums. Thus, scaling is beneficial for teeth and gums. One should get professional cleaning done by a dentist with a proper ultrasonic scaler. Also, getting extensive scaling (more than required) done is harmful.

Myth 2: Only sugar causes cavities.

Fact: Cavities occur when bacteria produce acids in the mouth. The process can begin by any carbohydrate that you consume. That includes sugar, fruits, vegetables, rice and bread. To reduce chances of tooth decay, one should not only practice good dental care but also limit the intake of acidic products.

Myth 3: Teeth whitening is harmful as it damages enamel.

Fact: Technique like Zoom Whitening works by exfoliating stains from one’s teeth to lighten them and bring back their natural colour. It is the simplest and safest procedure as a product is used by dentists that is devoid of bleaching agents and chemicals.

Myth 4: Brushing your bleeding gums is bad.

Fact: Brushing is not only good on teeth, but also on your gums and tongue. Brushing these areas helps get rid of plaque which is what causes inflammation and eventually gum disease. One should not brush too hard if they have sensitive gums. One must not use a hard toothbrush on bleeding gums.

Myth 5: Using sugarless chewing gum after meal can replace brushing.

Fact: Nothing can replace proper brushing technique. And in case you want to use sugarless chewing gum do not chew it for more than 10 minutes.

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