You may think you have a pretty good grip on dental care, and we hope you do. However, there are still some common myths about your smile health that you may be believing now or have believed since you were a child. It is important to define the line between fact and fiction when it comes to taking care of your smile. To set the record straight, here are the top five dental myths:

#1 Sugar Is the One and Only Culprit to Tooth Decay

As a child, you probably had a parent tell you countless times that sugar causes cavities. While that is not false information, sugar is not the only or primary culprit to tooth decay. Sugar essentially adds fuel to the fire when it comes to cavity development, but it is not what starts the decay process. Acids, bacteria and plaque formation play a role too.

#2 Going to the Dentist Is an Uncomfortable Experience

It is common for patients to sigh or wince at the thought of going to the dentist. Unfortunately, dentists have gotten a bad rap in past decades. However, with today’s advanced dental technology, sedation dentistry, more conservative procedures and modern patient amenities, going to the dentist can now be a painless and even pleasant experience.

#3 Bad Breath Means You Forgot to Brush

Poor dental hygiene is in fact the leading cause of bad breath. However, halitosis can still exist if you are a diligent brusher. Illness, acid reflux, certain medication and dry mouth are also leading triggers for bad breath. In addition, you may have a more serious oral health problem that your dentist needs to address in the office, such as gum disease or decay.

#4 Whitening Products Will My Weaken Teeth

Bleaching or teeth whitening products exist in many forms, including gels, pastes and strips. When used correctly, they are perfectly safe for your teeth and gums. While some patients may experience sensitivity or gum irritation from overuse, it does not mean that your tooth or enamel has been weakened.

#5 You Will Know When You Have a Cavity

This is a very common myth, and one that can be detrimental to your smile health and comfort. In most all cases of tooth decay, if you are experiencing pain, it means the area of decay has advanced to penetrate the inner nerve portion of the tooth. Instead of a simple filling, you may need a root canal or crown. The only surefire way to know you have a cavity, is to visit your dentist for routine dental exams and x-rays every six months.

At West Hill Family Dental, we are here to help you understand your smile so that you can take care of it best. If you are still uncertain about your dental care beliefs, give us a call. We are happy to take the time to educate you and your family. We see patients of all ages, from toddlers to aging adults.