Do you actually look forward to visiting your dentist? Some of us do. But for whatever reason, for others, the anxiety endured when sitting in the dentist (or cosmetic dentist) chair many times far outweighs that of any other medical-oriented appointment you may have; perhaps it’s that sudden rush and searing pain of the cavity he or she just hit with their tools or the sheer discomfort that comes along with exposed nerves and roots, but going to the dentist for some of us is about as unpleasant as enduring Chinese water torture. Further still, it isn’t a matter of finding the best dentist or being stuck with what was considered a cheap dentist; the fear of dentists just exists universally.
When looking for the most pain-free experience from a family dentist in Orange Park, it is important to cut through much of the rumor and speculation that’s out there. Sure, Dustin Hoffman’s character writhing in pain as he’s tortured in a dentist’s chair in Marathon Man doesn’t look like he’s having the least bit of fun…but in reality, our dentists only want to do what’s best for our oral health, not actually torture us. Why do myths about teeth continue to evolve and get progressively more horrific? Sometimes it’s just a matter of sifting through the nonsense of it all for some clarity…
Here are five of some of the most popular misconceptions regarding dentistry:
1. All Stains Can Easily be Whitened or Eliminated –
It’s no secret that tobacco, coffee and a myriad of foods can cause teeth to turn yellow or brown but while many of these elements can discolor teeth, not all of them can be erased away by a professional cleaning or tooth-whitening procedure. The fact is, discoloration related to damage or death of the pulp – the soft core of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels – is more difficult to fix, but not impossible to do so. The procedure encompasses incorporating bleach into the part of the tooth that contains the pulp.
Further, certain stains simply do not respond well to whitening or cleaning; these stubborn stains are often dealt with via a procedure called bonding, in which a dentist paints a plastic-esque material on to the tooth. Perhaps it is with a sense of irony that excessive tooth whitening can make teeth appear gray because the teeth are turned translucent.
2.Cavities are Caused by “Soft” Teeth –
Have you ever heard someone say “He (or she) has soft teeth and that’s why he (or she) gets lots of cavities”? Even if you haven’t, you must know that the truth is teeth are hard – the enamel that covers the area above the gum line is actually the hardest substance in the human body. As such, it’s clearly not “softness” that causes cavities; in fact, cavities are formed when acid produced by bacteria dissolves the hard enamel. This missing enamel – the “soft spot” of the tooth – is the actual cavity…but the tooth itself is not “soft.”
3. Gum Chewing Isn’t Good for Your Teeth –
While there are some truthful elements to this one, chewing gum of any kind increases saliva production, which is a good thing because saliva cleans the teeth and neutralizes acid. Still, the sugar found in many chewing gums feeds bacteria and so this comes down to whether the gum chosen to chew is sugar-free or not; sugar-free gum has actually been proven to be good for teeth because of an artificial sweetener named xylitol that fights oral bacteria better than other types.
4. Fluoride is Unsafe –
Rumors linking fluoride to health problems abound, from being connected to heart disease to allergies and genetic abnormalities…yet numerous studies refute such claims that the current level of fluoride in drinking water actually causes these problems. While excessive amounts of fluoride can be dangerous and even lethal (and you’d have to consume 5,000 to 10,000 glasses of fluoridated water in one sitting for it to be considered such), a number of top health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association support fluoridation.
5. The “Long in the Tooth” Phenomenon –
We’ve all heard the phrase “getting long in the tooth” but it actually reflects an interesting dental phenomenon; the gums of humans and certain animal species – notably equestrians (horses) – tend to pull away from the teeth as they age. This leads to making the teeth appear to get “longer,” the phrase referring to anything old, old-fashioned or worn out.
Have we eliminated that fear of dentist and are you now looking forward to sitting in that proverbial chair of torture? We didn’t think so; but hopefully you will consider perhaps a bit more carefully that we put our teeth through a great deal over a lifetime…and that it’s worth separating fact from fiction. The right Orange Park dentist will provide you the most pain and anxiety-free experience as possible.