Myths in dentistry – part II

Patients are tempted to seek out other sources of information when it comes to their oral health.

Whether they hear from other people about dental treatments being carried out, or read about them on the internet, it is very important that any issues are discussed with the dentist.

He or she will enlighten the patient and tell him or her whether the information acquired is true or not. Oral health is a sensitive topic for most patients, especially those who care about having a well-groomed and healthy appearance.

This is why patients sometimes tend to believe in miracle solutions or products to improve the appearance of their teeth. In reality, many of these solutions have a purely commercial purpose.

Other sources of misinformation can come from people who have tried various treatments, some with products from their own home. The truth about the treatments, the products indicated and the maintenance of the results is for the dentist alone to know, so any questions should be addressed to him or her without any trace of reluctance.

Among the issues that worry or alarm patients, we will present the following:

  • If a tooth that has developed a cavity has been treated, then there is no risk of a new cavity forming. FALSE. This statement is not true, because a tooth whose enamel has already been attacked by bacterial products is likely to be attacked again. Even if the filling or filling has been done properly, the tooth must be well cared for from now on to maintain its health.

In other situations, damage to the filling material may occur. There is no restorative material that can perfectly replace and possess the properties of tooth enamel.

This is why, over time, the edges of fillings can become discolored or even allow micro-organisms to penetrate deep into the tooth.

At other times, the filling, especially if it is large, may fracture under the high forces developed during chewing.

There is no defined period for the strength of fillings, as there are many factors that can jeopardize them. This is why regular dental check-ups can inspect the quality of fillings.

  • Excessive tooth brushing, more than twice a day, can destroy enamel. This statement may be true in certain contexts. It is widely known and accepted that brushing teeth with increased force can lead to enamel loss in the micron range. Thus, cracks will develop in the enamel, and over time excessive wear of the hard tissues will lead to sensitivity and even fracture. Brushing teeth with abrasive substances can also have the same effect of loosening the enamel prisms on the tooth surface.

  • Brushing teeth removes the risk of decay. This statement is not entirely true, because toothbrushing only helps to clean the exposed and visible surfaces of the teeth. However, about 30% of the enamel is in the interdental area, where the toothbrush cannot penetrate. That’s why proper brushing requires the use of additional aids such as floss, for the lateral, interdental surfaces and mouthwash.

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