We hear a lot of misinformation about dental health. It’s a fact of life that–when it comes to the dentist–fiction beats truth. Especially when the fiction involves grisly details that make us cringe– those are always more fun than the often-times simpler explanations behind what we do. That’s why we here at Dr. Matthews office want to take a second to clear up a few of the more common misconceptions about going to the dentist!
We understand how some of these can get blown out of proportion. Visiting the dentist can be scary–scary enough that around 5% of Americans polled said they avoided the dentist entirely! With sensitive teeth and gums, proper care can cause pain and bleeding. Enough to turn anyone off of dental care, right?
Dental visits will help!
That brings us to our first (and most common) myth: if your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, you should stop and let them heal. Common sense, right?
While this sounds good on the surface, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Bleeding and sensitivity is a sign that bacteria and food particles have collected beneath your gum line– the same sort of bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum sensitivity. If you’re bleeding when you brush your teeth, it’s time to take a good, gentle-but-thorough brush around your mouth. Be sure to gently brush along your gum line to dislodge any plaque build-up or food particles. Chances are, once you start brushing right, the bleeding and pain will vanish!
With that myth busted, let’s take a look at another common bleeding-gums myth: flossing causes bleeding. This is one of the biggest reasons people avoid flossing. Who wants to hurt their mouths when it looks like your floss isn’t doing any good? But, chances are, you may just be flossing wrong!
If your gums are bleeding, floss gently– but still floss!
Flossing is much easier than commonly thought. You’re not trying to saw away at the gums between your teeth– that’s how bleeding happens! Instead, you want to gently rub down the sides of your teeth with the floss. This is to dislodge loose food and plaque build-up. You shouldn’t need too much pressure. If there’s stubborn plaque build-up, leave that for your dentist! We specialize in correcting those hard-to-fix dental issues.
Finally, the most pervasive myth about visiting the dentist? We’re not scary, and we’re definitely not trying to hurt you. The mouth is a very sensitive place, and we understand that! Though some discomfort is unavoidable during dental procedures, our staff is highly trained to give you the best experience possible. Take a look at our staff page— Dr. Matthews hires the best! If you’re not convinced, then contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!