Common Myths About Dental Hygiene

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD, ParaDentalCare.info, (201) 864-4700

Myth #1: White teeth equal healthy teeth. Even though your teeth may be white, you can still have cavities on different surfaces of your teeth. These surfaces aren’t seen when you are smiling. For example, cavities can form in-between your teeth or on the gum line. You dentist may only be able to see these by x-ray. These cavities may be caused by plaque (food particles, bacteria and minerals) getting stuck in-between your teeth, gum line or the grooves on the chewing surfaces of your tooth.

Myth #2: Gum disease isn’t common. Gum disease is extremely common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease. Gum disease is called periodontal disease which in layman’s term means bone loss. You can have bone loss and not even know it. It can be diagnosed by dental xrays and a clinical exam by your dentist.

Myth #3: It is ok to drink soda as long as it doesn’t contain sugar. You may think that diet sodas without sugar are the way to go, however all sodas are extremely acidic. Acid weakens your enamel which puts you at risk for cavities. Here is a video of what happens if you leave a tooth in soda.

Myth #4: Brushing your teeth harder will clean them faster and better. Brushing your teeth hard will do more harm than good. Doing this can cause your gums to recede, and can also cause your teeth to be more sensitive. Brushing in a gentle circular motion is the ideal way to brush.

Myth #5: If your gums bleed, you should stop flossing. Bleeding gums can be a warning sign of gingivitis or  periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease.  If you notice your gums bleeding, you should see your dentist for an accurate diagnosis.

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If You’re Nervous in the Dental Chair, These Tips Can Help!

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD, ParaDentalCare.info, (201) 864-4700

If you are feeling anxious about your next dental visit, you are not alone. Many adults are nervous about dental visits. However, anxiety and nervousness are very treatable. Here are some tips for nervous dental patients.

  1. Stay calm, take deep breaths, and do not fidget! One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your dentist is working in a small space. It is important to minimize movement and fidgeting. Make sure you take deep breaths in and out of your nose. Close your eyes, and visualize a relaxing scene. Your dentist is working as fast as they can, and you will be out of the chair in no time.
  2. Bring someone with you. Having someone you trust with you can help you feel less alone.
  3. Repeat positive affirmations in your head. This helps to end your negative thinking patterns. You might walk into a dentist’s office worrying, but it is important to try to switch your negative, worrisome thoughts to positive, affirming thoughts. Repeat things such as “I am safe”, “I am brave”, “I’ve done this before” or “I will be out of here in no time”.
  4. Speak to your dental office beforehand. If you are feeling nervous, try calling a week before your appointment to see how your dentist personally deals with anxious patients.
  5. Listen to music. Bring your headphones and iPod and play your favorite music. This will help distract and relax you. Listening to music can also help drown out the sounds of dental tools.

I hope this has helped! Remember, anxiety is very common.