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It’s normal to get anxious about dental work. In fact, the Depart of Health and Human Services reported that 4.3 percent of Americans don’t go to the dentist because they are so afraid. Many of these fears tend to come from assumptions based upon myths society creates because there is so much uncertainty surrounding dentistry. In reality, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Here are some common myths in the field of dentistry and explanations as to why you should not believe them.

1. Bleaching Weakens Teeth – Some people worry that using bleaching products on their teeth can be harmful or weaken their teeth but there really isn’t any basis behind that fear. As long as you use the bleach according to the directions, it is generally
harmless. Bleaching is only meant to affect the color of the teeth, not their strength or their health.

2. Brushing is Bad for Bleeding Gums – At first glance, this myth seems like it could be true. However, when your gums bleed, it means that plaque and food particles have built up along your gum line and the gums have become irritated and inflamed. The brushing you’re doing is removing that plaque and food, so the bleeding is perfectly normal.

3. If there is no visible problem, I don’t have to see a dentist– Just because your teeth look healthy doesn’t mean you can skip going to the dentist. Many dental infections don’t necessarily have physical signs, so it is important to have a dentist check your teeth out every once in a while. You should also visit the dentist every six months for an exam and dental cleaning.

4. The More Sugar You Eat, the Worse For Your Teeth – It’s not necessarily how much sugar you eat, but how long the sugar is in your mouth. The longer the sugar is in your mouth, the longer the bacteria produces acid and works on the enamel on your teeth. In short, it is actually better to eat four candy bars and brush your teeth directly after finishing them than it is to eat one candy bar without brushing your teeth.

5. Brushing Your Teeth More than Once Per Day Can Harm Your Enamel – Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush to avoid being too hard on gums. The goal is to brush at least two times per day, and three times per day if possible.