Open wide: dental myths debunked

Published: Aug. 18, 2015 at 1:33 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2015 at 4:47 PM EDT
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Palm Harbor, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- There are lots of myths when it comes to your teeth. How much do you know?

Larry Lieberman, DDS, from General, Cosmetic, and Laser Dentistry in Palm Harbor, Florida says at one point or another, most of us will have a dental problem.

"Periodontal disease affects over 85% of the population. That's a really big deal," Lieberman says.

One way to avoid being part of that statistic, don't believe teeth myths. The first, you should use a hard bristle brush.

"Leave the hard toothbrush for cleaning the jewelry, and the soft toothbrush for cleaning the teeth," says Lieberman.

Another myth is that everyone should use a whitening toothpaste.

"We find that people that come in that use a lot of whitening toothpaste have more sensitivity," Lieberman says.

Stick with a basic paste. Another fallacy is that chewing on ice is harmless.

Lieberman says, "We see a lot of people that you know bite down on things they shouldn't. We see people who really do open up beer bottles with their teeth."

Another common myth, is that aspirin next to a tooth will help with a toothache. It can actually burn gum tissue! Another is that all fillings will need to be replaced. It depends on your oral hygiene. And babies can't get cavities, well they sure can and the cavities can even spread!

One more myth is that kids get way more cavities than adults. Thanks to fluoride in tap water, decay in school-aged children has been cut in half in the last 20 years. However, dentists are seeing an increase in cavities in older adults because of medicines that dry out the mouth. They reduce saliva, which protects the teeth.

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