2. IntroductionAs news travels faster like speed of light, rumors, urban legends and wrong beliefs spread quickly too. That includes false beliefs about dental care.Like lawyers say justice delayed is justice denied. I can equally say, treatment delayed is treatment denied.
3. FALSE: Brushing teeth several times and using too much force help to prevent tooth decay TRUTH: Typically brushing twice a day and in right manner using soft brush with less force is enough to keep your teeth clean. Actually brushing more often and using too much force can destroy/ erode the hard tooth substance leading to sensitivity, pain or even fracture.
4. FALSE: There’s no need to see a dentist if you don’t feel or see apparent dental problem TRUTH: No matter how beautiful or strong your teeth seem to be, a regular dental checkup is the most important thing you can do for your dental health, next to brushing and flossing. You need to have your teeth checked and cleaned professionally near gum line and places you can’t easily see.
5. Also a tooth that looks healthy and white can still have cavities, problem with roots or any issues requiring treatment. A dentist can see these problems and it’s always better and cheaper to start treatment earlier. Remember diseases like HIV/ AIDS, Diabetes, Leukemia and many others manifests in the mouth earlier before the patients gets general symptoms.
6. FALSE: Do not eat anything when you are going for tooth extraction. TRUTH: Starvation can make you collapse during the tooth extraction process. Anxiety when coupled with less blood sugar can lead to less perfusion and hence collapse. This wrong belief is associated with general anesthesia were patients are not allowed to eat for certain period of time. In tooth extraction local anesthesia is used around the area of operation so does not have any systemic outcomes.
7. FALSE: do not extract a tooth or do a root canal treatment when you have a swelling especially abscess. TRUTH: tooth extraction or root canal treatment will help to establish drainage for pus to come out and take care of infection. Sometimes even without necessitating antibiotics and pain killers. Delay in seeking dental treatment may lead to serious spread of infection to other vital parts of the body like brain and chest.
8. FALSE: a pregnant woman is not supposed to have a tooth extraction or any dental treatment until after delivery. TRUTH: A pregnant woman is supposed to live a healthy life free from any type of infections. A good nutrition coupled with healthy teeth and gums will lead to a healthy mother and baby. It is dangerous for a pregnant woman to go without dental care during pregnancy as it can cause serious infections and undue stress and pain. Most gum diseases in pregnancy (esp. periodontal infections) may cause Preterm low birth weight babies.
9. FALSE: The sure way of treating toothache is extraction. TRUTH: There are a lot of treatment options for a diseased tooth than extraction e.g Root Canal Treatment. Tooth extraction as a treatment is only done when other means of treating the tooth are impossible and mostly due to delay in seeking dental treatment.
10. Tooth extraction can lead to some problems like; decreased chewing ability, esthetic (beauty) impairment, speech impairment, jaw joint problems, disturbed teeth relationships. Artificial teeth are available for replacement but they are relatively expensive and care demanding.
11. FALSE: putting powder of pain killers like Aspirin, Panadol and Cafenol in the hole of decayed tooth help to stop pain. TRUTH: like in any other diseases, stopping pain without treating what is causing it is a temporary solution and actually makes the disease to progress further. Further more, these painkillers can burn soft tissues surrounding the tooth and also make the tooth brittle which can lead to difficult extraction
12. FALSE: Good teeth are inherited TRUTH: Genetics contribute very little to appearance and healthy of your teeth, keeping your teeth clean and visiting the dentist regularly are the important things to keep your teeth healthy. A similar oral health status in a family may be related to the same nutritional lifestyle.
13. FALSE: Teeth eruption causes diarrhea TRUTH: Teeth eruption is a normal biological process and does not cause diarrhea. Teeth eruption Starts almost at the same stage of crawling and passive immunity from the mother is over while child own immunity is not yet mature. As a result of crawling the child may pick and eat anything (dirty or clean) within reach, when this is coupled with immature immunity diarrhea is likely to occur.
14. FALSE : A child born with teeth (neonatal teeth) or whose upper front teeth erupt before the lower teeth is a sign of bad lack in the family TRUTH: The two cases are abnormal like any abnormality of one or many organs/structures in some of individuals, they are no associated with bad luck like any other abnormalities.