dental myths debunked

Fact or Fiction? 5 Myths About Oral Health Debunked

There are a lot of myths surrounding your oral health. While some of those myths may have a kernel of truth, you could experience serious oral health issues if you don’t fact check them first. We’ve debunked some of the biggest myths surrounding oral health so you can protect your smile.

Fact or Fiction?

  1. Sugar free means better for your teeth
  2. Cavities in baby teeth are no big deal
  3. Your overall health isn’t impacted by your oral health
  4. Pregnant women shouldn’t worry about bleeding gums
  5. Gum disease is a rare oral health problem
  6. You don’t need to see your dentist unless it’s an emergency
  7. Metal fillings are safe for everyone

1. Sugar Free Means Better for Your Teeth

Answer: False

Sugar can be awful for your teeth as well as your overall health. Sugary foods and drinks provide food for the bacteria in your mouth and turn into plaque. Failure to brush, floss, and get regular cleanings will eventually lead to tooth decay and possibly even gum disease. But while sugary options are bad, sugar-free alternatives aren’t necessarily better.

This is because sugar-free options still contain acids and carbs that can also damage your teeth. Just like sugar, they combine with bacteria and saliva to create plaque. Instead of sugar-free drink options, try a healthier option like:

  • Water (plain or sparkling)
  • Milk
  • Unsweetened tea

You can even dilute fruit juice that already has low sugar content for a refreshing summer drink. Whichever you choose, you’ll be supporting both your dental and overall health.

2. Cavities in Baby Teeth Are No Big Deal

Answer: False

You may think that cavities in your child’s baby teeth aren’t that big of a deal. After all, they’ll just be replaced by their adult teeth, right? The truth is that childhood oral health plays a huge role in adult oral health. 

For one thing, cavities and tooth decay in baby teeth can affect how adult teeth develop under the gums. Another important factor to consider is how important it is for children to learn good oral health habits at an early age. They’re more likely to continue these habits as they get older, so stress the importance of oral health early on to protect their smile.

Make sure to check out our recent blog about teaching your kids about the dentist. It’s full of resources such as:

  • Book suggestions
  • Free printables they can color 
  • Fun videos
  • Tips for making oral hygiene fun

Give your child a good start when it comes to making good oral health choices.You’ll be setting them up for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

3. Your Overall Health Isn’t Impacted by Your Oral Health

Answer: False

Your oral health and overall health are closely related. In fact, your oral health is usually a good indicator of your overall health. This is because your teeth, gums, and other parts of your mouth aren’t an isolated part of your body. What’s happening in your mouth can have a huge impact on the rest of your body and vice versa.

Consider gum disease and diabetes. According to, gum disease can lead to higher levels of blood sugar, which is bad news for diabetics. It’s also a great reason why you should make your oral health a top priority. Check out our blog on preventing gum disease to learn more.  

4. Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Worry About Bleeding Gums

Answer: False

The hormones involved in pregnancy can result in gums that are sensitive and inflamed. Known as pregnancy gingivitis, this phenomenon is due to plaque that builds up on teeth and irritates your gums. It’s perfectly common for women who are pregnant to experience gums that are red, sore, and bleed.

On the other hand, this doesn’t happen for every woman. You still want to make sure that you’re following good oral hygiene habits while pregnant. Along with brushing, that includes cleaning between your teeth with a tool such as:

  • Floss
  • An interdental brush
  • A water flosser

Taking the time to clean between your teeth is important for your health as well as the health of your baby. It will also help prevent gingivitis from developing into gum disease later on. 

5. Metal Fillings are Safe for Everyone

Answer: False

Metal or silver fillings are a common form of treating cavities. Made of dental amalgam, they’re a combination of different types of metal used to fill your cavities. They’re safe to use despite having very small amounts of mercury. However, problems may occur if you have any allergies to metal. Make sure to talk to us about those allergies before getting a metal filling.

When it comes to separating oral health fact from fiction, the best thing you can do is brush, floss, and make your regular dental appointments. This will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your dental hygiene regimen and give our team the opportunity to catch any tiny issues before they become big problems.

Do you need some help telling the difference between fact and fiction about your oral health? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

Athens Family Dental is open Monday through Thursday to help with all your dental needs. Call us today at (423) 745-3559, or you can schedule an appointment online.

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